Stop XXL London's eviction from their current venue

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Please read the statement issued by XXL London and support the campaign for the club to remain at it current brilliantly run venue.

We need urgent action from Sadiq Khan, Southwark Council & the much vaunted but ineffectual Nighttime Czar!!!!!

It is with regret we have grave news in regard to XXL’S home venue Pulse. We have to inform you that on Monday 24th June at 5pm we were served with a 3 month eviction notice from the property developers and our new Landlords, Native Land. We would like to supply you with the following facts and information on what has happened. Please note, we are committed to keeping XXL open and serving the Bear and wider London Gay community. This does not affect any satellite XXL nights or the brand itself.

In 2012 - a chance meeting with our ward Counsellor David Noakes at Southwark Council we were informed that he was sorry that we would be losing the venue, that Southwark had overturned our planning permission. Having had no consultation or warnings we started to enquire on what was going on. Only after our enquiries we were then informed formally by Southwark Council that they had overturned our planning permission - we immediately appealed this decision And embarked on a 15 month legal battle. Following a 13 hour planning tribunal, in which Southwark Council Planning were reprimanded by the judge for doing the dirty work of the developers; They also lied during the hearing saying they had not decided on the planning application by the Carlyle Group - it had been. As well as being homophobic by their representatives by saying “do you know what kind of club that is?”. The Judge told Southwark Planning to go back to the developers to redesign their scheme to incorporate the Gay Nightclub into it. The reason they had overturned our planning was so they avoided having to undertake an equalities impact assessment for the loss of the gay nightclub. Please see: https://www.london.gov.uk/…/planning-applicat…/sampson-house This equalities impact assessment has not been carried out to date. We were awarded full planning and Southwark Council reinstated it. We were assured at this point that Pulse was a secure LGBTQ+ venue for the long term.

2016 we were approached by Clive Riding a Director of Native Land, who had purchased the two building sites from the Carlyle Group for £358m. He informed us that Native Land were liaising with Network Rail to obtain an interposed lease which would make them our new Landlords and would serve us notice on our two 30 year leases for the property. We contacted the Mayors office and the deputy Mayors and highlighted this and asked for their help. The Mayor and all the deputy Mayors responded that it was not their jurisdiction. The night time Tsar, Amy Lame, contacted us and we had a meeting with her and Ed Bains. We told them what had and was happening and asked for help. Amy’s response was that they had no powers to intervene. Please note at this point it was not a legal matter. We then went into talks with the Native Land to work with them on a joint venture to develop the site as a privately funded LGBTQ + centre for London. We worked on a proposal and a business plan. We had another meeting with Amy Lame and Ed Bains and discussed our idea with them and they said that the Mayors office would not get involved in an LGBTQ+ centre as none of the various groups were able to come to any form of agreement. We said that we would privately finance this ourselves and she said then we will back you if you are funding it. At the 11th hour the developers served us notice. They did not want an LGBTQ + centre there, that their funds were coming from the Far East : Singapore and Malaysia and that their investors would be very uncomfortable with that type of business. We contacted the Mayors office again and they said because it was now a legal matter they could not intervene.

We are the only gay venue in southwark. When XXL opened in 2000 there were 6 healthy LGBTQ + venues, all have been closed down due to development. Southwark has the second highest population of LGBTQ+ people in London. This is a clear case of homophobia and Southwark have sold us out for £65m. We offered to vacate the premises while the structural work takes place and they have rejected this. When we close in 3 months time, London will have lost almost 75% of its LGBTQ + venues within a 5 year period. We have pleaded with Southwark, The Mayors office and Native Land to help us and to work with us and it has fallen on deff ears. We ask you, members and non members to rally round and show support to fight back against this decision and to SAVE OUR SCENE.


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