Four branches of Chariots have closed down in the past two years
London gay sauna Chariots in Waterloo is to be shut down and turned into a hotel.
One of the longest-running all-male saunas in the UK capital will be closed to make way for a 66-bedroom hotel in Lower Marsh.
Lambeth Council unanimously approved the planning application last night (4 April).
A Lambeth Council spokesperson told GSN: ‘The application was approved on Tuesday night, subject to conditions.
‘The committee felt that overall the scheme would benefit Lower March with the creation of a new and better building, to replace currently run down and under used buildings.’
The parade of mostly independent shops from 100 to 108 Lower Marsh like café Love & Scandal and craft shop I Knit London will also be closed down. However, the developer has promised the retail units will be offered to local independent businesses before being advertised on the market.
Chariots had originally taken up the upper floor of the building.
In the planning report, the gay sauna was listed as a ‘negative contributor’ to the reputation of the area.
‘There is no objection to its demolition,’ the developers claimed.
‘Even if the Chariots premises was considered to provide such a local service, there would not be any demonstratable harm in the loss of this particular facility.
Chariots will only have one premises
When contacted by GSN, a Chariots employee appeared unaware by the recent development.
‘It’s still open,’ they told us. ‘Last thing we heard the landlords were having problems with planning. That was a couple of months ago.’
Chariots originally had five premises across London, but will now only have one in Vauxhall.
Chariots in Shoreditch was shut down in February 2016 to make way for a 200-room hotel. The Streatham branch was also shut down abruptly in the same month. In Limehouse, it was sold to a new owner and converted into a Sailors sauna.