… to prevent it from being developed into luxury flats
Since its sale to a developer last year, the RVT remains at risk of being developed, and there are concerns that it is not guaranteed that any developer would protect the current use of the RVT as an LGBT cabaret venue. Lambeth Council recently made the RVT an ‘asset of community value’ which gives it a certain level of protection, namely that the community get first right of refusal should it be put up for sale. However, Prince’s Councillors do not feel this sufficiently guarantees its future as we have seen other venues go by the wayside with communities unable to meet asking prices and developers simply able to mothball or go ahead with scheme. In response, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth Cllr Jack Hopkins of neighbouring Oval ward has written to Historic England asking them to list the RVT. That would help prevent the RVT from being redeveloped as has happened with other LGBT venues across London, many of them turned into luxury flats.
There are many reasons why buildings can be considered for listing and the guidance from the Department for Culture Media and Sport is here:https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/137695/Principles_Selection_Listing_1_.pdf The main focus of historical interest is: “To be of a special interest a building must illustrate important aspects of the nation’s social, cultural… history and/or have close historical associations with nationally important people. There should normally be some quality of interest in the physical fabric of the building itself to justify the statutory protection afforded by listing”.
If you agree with the campaign and would like to make your own submission to English Heritage to request that the RVT is considered for listing, send your responses to Ms Patience Trevor, Designation Team South, Historic England, 1 Waterhouse Square, 138-142 Holborn, London, EC1 2ST or firstname.lastname@example.org. Other members of public have written to: provide their experiences, their view on the historical importance over decades of the RVT to the LGBT community and their rationale for saving it for future generations. The deadline is Tuesday 9th June.