BLUF Local: London

Information about London specific events, from Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3) and Master Thomas (33). Most BLUF London events take place at The Backstreet in Mile End, but many members also regularly attend the London Leather Social and meetings of London Leathermen. We also organise a presence at the London Pride Parade.

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News from BLUF Local: London

Step up to save London's leather bar

The Backstreet, London's only strict leather bar, is under threat from development plans.

Before you panic, it's not going to suddenly vanish, and this isn't the first time there have been plans put forward to redevelop the site - something that, obviously, is not going to include a new space in the application labelled 'gay leather bar.' The last time a serious proposal was put forward was in 2007, and it went nowhere.

That doesn't mean, however, that we should be complacent. One of the things that stopped the previous proposal was people being motivated, and objecting to the planning application - and that's what this article is all about. If you're in London, or you've visited, and you value our leather bar, please take a few minutes to read on, and to find out how you can object to the planning proposal.

What's the plan?

The proposal is to demolish the building that houses Backstreet - which has been there for years, and was in the early part of the last century a banqueting hall and ball room called La Boheme. The Backstreet has been in the building since 1985, while the section at the front was a nightclub for many years, called Benjys, Benjys 2000, Purple E3 and various other names, before being closed down.

Galliard Homes, via one of their subsidiaries Bestzone, want to build on the site, with a tower block reaching a maximum height of fifteen stories; the tallest buildings nearby, the council flats behind the club, are only 9 stories, and the bulk of the building in the Mile End area is only two or three.

The local authority responsible for the planning application is Tower Hamlets, one of the London boroughs. You can submit comments on an application to them, but it is important to remember that in law, only certain types of objection are relevant, such as local planning policies, the design, the potential noise, the effect on the townscape, loss of light.

Some matters, unfortunately, do not count as a valid objection - "London would lose a valuable gay bar" is a good point, but it's not in and of itself a reason for a planning application to be denied.

How you can help

We'd urge people to complain about the planning application. Before you do so, please take a look at these useful resources:

This website shows some of the impressions of what the building would look like. As you can see, it dwarfs most others in the area. http://www.mile-end-residents.co.uk/local-news/562-mile-end-road/ The site also includes information about some of the guidelines for building height.

This link is a PDF that explains how to comment on an application in Tower Hamlets

The full planning application can be viewed by visiting https://development.towerhamlets.gov.uk/online-applications/ and entering the reference PA/16/00943 in the search box.

Please read these soon - the deadline for objections to the planning application is the 15th of June 2016.

You can comment by email to planningandbuilding@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Include your name and postcode, and quote the planning application number PA/16/00943, and say that it refers to the plans to redevelop 562 Mile End Road.

Points you may wish to include:

  • The height of the building, which will be out of scale with others in the area
  • The lack of parking provision in the plans, which may cause issues for local residents
  • The historic nature of the old building
  • The proposed mix of retail and residential may not provide for enough affordable housing

It may be worth mentioning the importance of The Backstreet as a venue for the gay community, but remember that is not one of the specific points on which the application will be judged, so you should refer to some of those above.

Please take a few minutes - together we can do our bit to help keep London's leather bar going!

Wednesday 08 June, Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3). Updated 07 Jan, 17:50 by Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3)

Fighting for The Backstreet

Last spring, we wrote about the threat of redevelopment facing The Backstreet, London's only leather bar, together with information about how to oppose the application.

Nothing much has happened for a while, and so far the application hasn't even come up before the Planning Committee. However, at least some of those who objected have received letters, indicating that some changes have been made to the application. One of the chief objections to the scheme is the height - at fifteen stories, it will loom over the junction, and the revisions don't really make any attempt to address that, though they may make the building slightly less ugly.

You can view the application online at the Tower Hamlets Website and I strongly recommend reading the item COVERING LETTER DATED: 22.12.16

As well as setting out the changes, it also addresses what I presume have been complaints raised on the basis of the importance of The Backstreet to the gay community. In doing so, it attempts to suggest that it probably isn't something with a real social purpose, and that even if it was, there are other LGBT venues in Tower Hamlets that people could go to. This, clearly, is an argument that's based on the idea that one gay venue is just like another. There's even a suggestion that because some non-gay venues sometimes hold LGBT nights, there's no problem at all.

In our previous article on this, we suggested that objecting on the grounds of the awfulness of the building, the height, and other planning factors was the most important thing to do. It very likely still is - however, since the developer has tried to justify a move that would lead to the closure of the Backstreet, and in doing so has shown how little they understand it, it is probably now appropriate for people to rebut those glib "all LGBT places are the same" arguments, if they do respond.

It's not clear from the letter if responses are welcome only from those who responded the first time. Regardless, the deadline for doing so is now the 18th of January 2017.

Categories: venues

Saturday 07 January, Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3). Updated 20 Jan, 10:11 by Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3)

BLUF Blog: London

BLUF and London Leathermen at London Pride

Once again this year, BLUF took part in the London Pride Parade, and we formed a joint group with London Leathermen (formerly MSC London).

With around 80 people taking part, we think this is the biggest ever leather turnout for the parade. Thanks very much to Paul Turner of LLM

Published 27 Jun 2016 • Read more

Back to the Backstreet, renewing a pledge

You don't know what you've got till it's gone, sang Joni Mitchell and sadly that's all too often been the case with leather bars, which is one of the reasons we started the BLUF 12x12 pledge back at the beginning of

Published 20 Dec 2015 • Read more

BLUF in the London Pride Parade

On Saturday 27th June, London had its biggest ever Pride parade, and as in recent years, we had an official BLUF walking group.

It was our biggest turnout for the march so far, with thirty people making up our group, please the BLUF and leather flags.

We enjoyed a great

Published 30 Jun 2015 • Read more

Photos from London Pride 2015

View image | gettyimages.com

The images in the photo gallery below are public photos from Flickr that show the BLUF group on the London Pride Parade.

If you find more photos of us, please send an email to pride @ bluf.com

Click on a photo to view it on Flickr.

Published 29 Jun 2015 • Read more

Photo highlights from London Pride 2014

The photos below are the highlights from over 100 that I shot on the London Pride march in 2014, and show members of BLUF and MSC London in our joint walking group.

Click on a photo to view it on Flickr, where you'll also find all the other photos

Published 13 Aug 2014 • Read more

London Pride March photos - set 2

More photos from the London Pride Parade, taken by leather bln (1879)

Published 02 Jul 2014 • Read more

London Pride March photos - set 1

Thanks to Longshot (2710) for this set of photos showing the BLUF and MSC group in the London Pride Parade.

Published 01 Jul 2014 • Read more

Flickr photos from London Pride

This Flickr gallery shows photos from the BLUF and MSC marching group in the London Pride parade; click on a photo to view it on Flickr.

Published 01 Jul 2014 • Read more

More Flickr photos from London Pride

This Flickr gallery shows photos from the BLUF and MSC marching group in the London Pride parade; click on a photo to view it on Flickr.

Published 01 Jul 2014 • Read more

London Leather Social

Although not a BLUF event, the London Leather Social is well attended by BLUF guys, along with a good selection of men into all the different sorts of leather.

It's a friendly event which takes place in the upstairs bar at Comptons on the first Sunday of every month -

Published 06 May 2014 • Read more

More Pride Parade Photos

These photos were taken during the Pride Parade by IRLslavePup, aka SteveMrGearedIreland2016 (2663)

Click an image to view it on Flickr

Published 13 Jul 2013 • Read more

BLUF photos from London Pride 2013

2013 marked the second year that BLUF was registered as an official participant on the London Pride Parade. We were joined in our walking group by members of MSC London as well, and had a total of around thirty people present on the day.

The photos here were taken by

Published 09 Jul 2013 • Read more

Photos from London Pride

Around 30 people took part in the Pride March for BLUF and MSC London. The photos on this page were submitted to us by FllLthr (1386)

Published 05 Jul 2013 • Read more

BLUF in the London Pride Parade

BLUF is once again taking place in the London Pride parade, which this year is on Saturday 29th of June 2013. We'll be marching towards the front of the parade, hopefully with a fair few people in full leather gear.

If you're into leather, and you'd like

Published 29 May 2013 • Read more

More photos from London's World Pride March

Here are some more photos from the BLUF group marching in London's World Pride Parade, July 7th 2012.

These photos have been kindly contributed from a number of sources. The first four were kindly sent to us by Polari Magazine, followed by three from Recon user 'Evilgrin'

The next

Published 01 Aug 2012 • Read more

BLUF in the World Pride March - photos

For World Pride 2012 in London, and since BLUF will be fifteen this year, we arranged a marching group in the parade. These photos, taken by Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3), show the group - which numbered around 25 by the time we finished - plus some of the other sights from the march.

I'm

Published 11 Jul 2012 • Read more

BLUF in the World Pride March - public photos

This collection of photos is from various users on Flickr who took photos of BLUF members as we passed by in the parade on 7th July.

In spite of the weather and the change to the start time, we had around 25 people marching with us by the end of

Published 09 Jul 2012 • Read more

Marching in gear

Pride is upon as and, for the first time, BLUF is registered as a group to march in the parade in London. Amongst all the outpourings of emotion and anger that have been caused by the poor organisation and near collapse of the event, there are also some familiar themes,

Published 06 Jul 2012 • Read more

BLUF in the World Pride march, 2012

BLUF is a registered group in the World Pride march on 7th July 2012, and we welcome those who want to come and join us with the BLUF and leather flags, whether you're in gear or not.

The start time for the march has been rescheduled, and it now

Published 03 Jul 2012 • Read more

Weather today

Gentle Breeze, scattered clouds, sky is clear

  • Day: 8.1°C
  • Evening: 8.8°C
  • Night: 7.2°C
  • Humidity: 0%

 

BLUF at Pride 2015

BLUF at Pride 2015

Events

London Leather Social

Sunday 05 Feb, 17:00

The monthly London get-together for guys in leather. Meet upstairs in Comptons, from 5pm onwards. No dresscode.

Comptons, Old Compton Street, London W1, United Kingdom

BLUF at Backstreet

Saturday 11 Feb, 22:00

Join us at Backstreet for the first London event of 2017. More info: Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3)

The Backstreet, Wentworth Mews, Mile End, E3, London, United Kingdom

London Leathermen

Friday 17 Feb, 21:00

London Leathermen's monthly Club Night Social with Men.inc at the Eagle London from 9pm... free entrance, beer specials, secure clothes check, changing area, pool table, great music, outside private smoking terrace & bar, free (BBQ or buffet weather dependent) - great company so gear up and join us.

Eagle London, 349 Kennington Ln, London SE11 5QY, UK, London, United Kingdom

London Leather Social

Sunday 05 Mar, 17:00

The monthly London get-together for guys in leather. Meet upstairs in Comptons, from 5pm onwards. No dresscode.

Comptons, Old Compton Street, London W1, United Kingdom

London Leathermen

Friday 17 Mar, 21:00

London Leathermen's monthly Club Night Social with Men.inc at the Eagle London from 9pm... free entrance, beer specials, secure clothes check, changing area, pool table, great music, outside private smoking terrace & bar, free (BBQ or buffet weather dependent) - great company so gear up and join us.

Eagle London, 349 Kennington Ln, London SE11 5QY, UK, London, United Kingdom

London Leather Social

Sunday 02 Apr, 17:00

The monthly London get-together for guys in leather. Meet upstairs in Comptons, from 5pm onwards. No dresscode.

Comptons, Old Compton Street, London W1, United Kingdom

London Leathermen

Friday 21 Apr, 21:00

London Leathermen's monthly Club Night Social with Men.inc at the Eagle London from 9pm... free entrance, beer specials, secure clothes check, changing area, pool table, great music, outside private smoking terrace & bar, free (BBQ or buffet weather dependent) - great company so gear up and join us.

Eagle London, 349 Kennington Ln, London SE11 5QY, UK, London, United Kingdom

BLUF at Backstreet

Friday 28 Apr, 22:00

Kick off the Mayday holiday weekend with BLUF at The Backstreet. Normal entrance charges apply. More info: Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3)

The Backstreet, Wentworth Mews, Mile End, E3, London, United Kingdom

London Leather Social

Sunday 07 May, 17:00

The monthly London get-together for guys in leather. Meet upstairs in Comptons, from 5pm onwards. No dresscode.

Comptons, Old Compton Street, London W1, United Kingdom

London Leathermen

Friday 19 May, 21:00

London Leathermen's monthly Club Night Social with Men.inc at the Eagle London from 9pm... free entrance, beer specials, secure clothes check, changing area, pool table, great music, outside private smoking terrace & bar, free (BBQ or buffet weather dependent) - great company so gear up and join us.

Eagle London, 349 Kennington Ln, London SE11 5QY, UK, London, United Kingdom

London Leather Social

Sunday 04 Jun, 17:00

The monthly London get-together for guys in leather. Meet upstairs in Comptons, from 5pm onwards. No dresscode.

Comptons, Old Compton Street, London W1, United Kingdom

London Leathermen

Friday 16 Jun, 21:00

London Leathermen's monthly Club Night Social with Men.inc at the Eagle London from 9pm... free entrance, beer specials, secure clothes check, changing area, pool table, great music, outside private smoking terrace & bar, free (BBQ or buffet weather dependent) - great company so gear up and join us.

Eagle London, 349 Kennington Ln, London SE11 5QY, UK, London, United Kingdom

BLUF and LLM in the London Pride Parade

Saturday 08 Jul, 11:30

Join BLUF and London Leathermen for the Pride Parade, as we march in gear through the city streets. We'll have full details of where to assemble and the route of the march later on, but please add this item to your Travel Plans to ensure you keep updated

Venue to be confirmed, London, UK

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