Punters fight to save historic London gay pub

Campaigners say plans to turn 170-year-old pub in UK capital would turn Chelsea area into a 'bland desert'

Punters fight to save historic London gay pub
23 October 2012

Punters at one of London’s oldest gay pubs are campaigning to stop the popular watering hole from being closed and turned into apartments.

Angry regulars at the 170-year-old Queens Head pub in Chelsea are calling on the UK’s Planning Inspectorate to reject an appeal by developers to turn the building into residential homes.

Over 450 people have signed a Change.org petition to stop the plans from being green-lighted, saying without the pub the area would become a ‘bland residential-only desert’.

Freddy Sipson has been the manager of the pub for two years now and claims the historic boozer is the heart of the community.

‘I have discovered how important it is in the community for all walks of life, the old the young the gays and the lonely who just might need a little bit of company and a chat,’ he wrote on the petition.

Sipson added: ‘To loose this bar would kill off the local community and a part of a proud British tradition.

‘I can get another job (not that I want to) but you will never get another Queens Head.’

Local drinker Anne Mclean says there are few traditional pubs left in Chelsea.

She said: ‘The Queens Head is a great community pub and although it is mainly a "gay" pub, there are a lot of heterosexuals that go in there as well. Everyone is made very welcome whatever your sexual preferance.

‘They do a lot to bring the community together including many special nights to raise money for various charities. It would be a travesty if this pub was closed down’

An appeal hearing will be held tomorrow (24 October) morning at Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, at 9.45am.

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