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Soho’s The Yard Bar to fight Council over redevelopment plans

By Will Stroude

Soho’s The Yard Bar has launched a campaign to save the venue from redevelopment, as the areas ongoing battle against Westminster City Council continues.

The Yard bar and restaurant in Rupert Street is fighting development plans to cover its hugely popular and picturesque open stable yard and dig down to create a large new basement.  Developers are also keen to build three new flats over the bar and an historic timber pitched roof would be lost.

the yard bar

The venue has asked for the public’s help after Westminster City Council gave them just a week’s notice that they intend to give the plans approval at a committee meeting next Tuesday, 27 January.

In a statement on their website, the owners said: “The building has been recognised by Westminster Council as an unlisted building of merit. However, the new development would see it close and another independent trader would be lost from the area permanently.

“The new restaurant and flats would be sold to the highest bidder and another generic big brand name would replace this magical getaway within the bustling streets of Soho.”

Local Councillor Jonathan Glanz has come out in support of The Yard, saying: “The proposals would be an unacceptable intensification on the site, would see customers forced out onto a busy thoroughfare to smoke creating a nuisance and would damage the local Conservation Area.

“There are very few places where customers can enjoy a drink and smoke away from the busy streets of Soho. Westminster seeks to preserve the culture of Soho and that doesn’t mean there should be no development, but its got to enhance the area.”

The news comes just weeks after Soho’s The Green Carnation and Manbar shut down for good, with the latter blaming Westminster Council’s decision to remove its entertainment license – find out more.

Meanwhile, famous London drag club Madame Jojo’s was forced to close at the end of last year following a ‘serious violent incident’. Stephen Fry has since back the ‘Save Soho’ campaign to preserve the area’s heritage – click here to find out more.

To help save The Yard form redevelopment, please email Westminster City Council at and quote 14/04624/FULL to object to the application.

You can also make your feelings known on Twitter. Tweet @Yard_Soho @City Westminster & @JonathanGlanz with the hashtag #savetheyard

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