Flags fly to celebrate policy change

The gay flag will soon be fluttering in Soho once more. Westminster City Council has bowed to pink pressure and revoked its ban on the flying of rainbow freedom flags in London's gay heartland.

Last week planners adopted a change to the policy of requiring shops and businesses to apply for planning permission to fly the flag. The change will remove the need for most premises along Old Compton Street and Brewer Street to seek permission for single flagpoles.

"The flying of rainbow flags is an important tradition in this part of Soho and it was unfortunate that our policies were not flexible enough," Westminster cabinet member for planning Robert Davis concedes. "Hopefully this change will be seen as a small but important improvement."

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