Waterloo Chariots Sauna, one of London’s oldest gay bathhouses, will be closing its doors. The building is set to be demolished so that a new hotel can be built in its place. Lambeth Council unanimously approved the application for the new hotel. Lambeth Council spokesperson said
‘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.’
However Chariots seemed unaware of the approval. Spokesperson for Chariots saying
‘It’s still open, Last thing we heard the landlords were having problems with planning. That was a couple of months ago.’
Once a dominant force in the bathhouse industry with five bathhouses, Chariots 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.
Richard Unwin, chairman of LGBT Humanists and a regular at the old Shoreditch branch laments of the bathhouse closings saying
“There’s much more to Chariots than the steamier side of things. You can enjoy a fabulous massage from the superb on-site masseur, relax with a bite to eat in front of the TV in the café area, and get to meet fascinating people from all over London, and, indeed, the world, in a unique environment. It also serves as an important safe space for gay men originating from cultures and families that are less-accepting of homosexuality.”
To read more go to Gay sauna Chariots Waterloo to be demolished