Leather and rubber fetish gay club branded ‘important community asset’ has been saved from demolition


A LEATHER and rubber fetish gay club has been saved as it is “an important community asset”.

Developers want to tear down The Backstreet and build a 12-storey block of 46 flats plus shops.

Tower Hamlets council has decided against demolishing The Backstreet in Mile End, East London

The bar in Mile End, East London, claims to have the strictest dress code in Europe — admitting only people “where leather or rubber make up the largest part of what you are wearing”.

Locals and the gay community opposed the scheme and the council agreed, refusing planning permission.

Councillors said it would “harm the long-term provision that serves the LGBT+ community”.

The developers appealed and lost, ending a six-year battle.

Tower Hamlets Council deputy mayor Rachel Blake said: “It’s the last true gay fetish club and diversity matters to us. It’s important to have safe spaces.

“When there’s a rise in hate crime, we must stand up for those with all backgrounds.”

A clubber said: “I discovered the fetish scene at The Backstreet. It stopped me thinking I was odd.”

The decision to refuse permission to the developers, a ­subsidiary of Galliard Homes, was upheld by a planning inspector this month.

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