Inquiry starts 28th August

 

The Queensbury pub bw

Brent and the developer’s agent have been beavering away to prepare for the forthcoming Appeal which starts on Wednesday 28th. Formal letters have been sent to all those who commented on any of the three Redbourne schemes (because they are so similar) even though the Appeal considers just one of these.

As things stand we still do not have a definitive timetable for the Inquiry.

Brent and the Appellant are working on a Statement of Common Ground which, once finished, is a useful document which does what it says in the title – they agree some basics (such as the plot is one that can be developed) which leaves the Inquiry considering the detail (mainly around conservation and the replacement design). They have also worked on a set of Conditions, which will have to be met should the Appeal be successful.

The Conditions are disappointing and fall considerably short on community space / access and pub protection in particular. They are nothing as detailed as the Fairview appeal which secured community access and interim space. Still no news of a kitchen for the pub either.

The Appellant has also submitted some revised drawings which is a little odd because surely the Appeal considers those submitted and refused already? Keep an eye on the Brent planning portal or the Inspectorate’s site for more information.

Contact the Inspectorate direct if you want to speak at the Inquiry. Or just pop along and listen in if you’ve time to spare?

Public Inquiry – paperwork now in!

All of our paperwork has joined that of the Appellant and Brent Council ahead of the five day Public Inquiry which starts at the end of this month.

Save The Queensbury are a Rule 6 Party which means we get a seat at the table to argue our case for saving the pub – and also tell the Inspector why we fear for its long-term future if planning permission is granted.

If you want to see what the discussion is about head to Brent’s website and look at the summary documents.

As Seen On TV3!!

images

First came The One Show Special in 2016 on why pubs are closing at a rate of 3 a day. We took part along with other pub campaigners in similar situations to us.

Then we featured on Countdown last year as Helen Fospero talked about The Queensbury campaign in dictionary corner.

Tomorrow we are on Sunday Morning Live to take part in a conversation about why pubs are important in our communities and the vital role they play.

Tune in to BBC1 at 10am, set your alarms and look out for the dozen diehards who’ll set their alarms to Save The Queensbury! Or catch it on the iplayer you lazy bunch.

 

 

Once it is gone, it is gone for good

The QueensburyThe end of another tumultuous week which saw the developer sitting alongside The Queensbury pub operator, both supporting demolition of 110 Walm Lane.

It’s a strange campaign that saves a pub that doesn’t want to save itself!

The Queensbury management have been great for our community and great to us and we totally understand their position. Business is business and they have a business relationship with the freeholder at 110 Walm Lane. They are confident that the new space can work.

But Save The Queensbury is just as much about preserving the building (in a conservation area) as it is than saving the pub. Once that building is gone, it is gone for good.

As for the pub…. we are less confident. We asked on Twitter a few weeks ago for examples in Brent where pubs have closed and reopened as promised in a residential development. We could not find one example. Across London, we struggled.

The developer, pub operator and Brent planners were all asked this week – can you guarantee a pub in the new development? The answer from each….. a flat No.

 

 

Another marathon meeting at Brent Civic centre and another victory for Save The Queensbury

Councillors voted unanimously to kick out Scheme A and by five votes to two to refuse permission on Scheme B, but not before one Councillor reported an inappropriate approach by somebody acting for the developer. Gloves came off.
We spoke, Mapesbury residents spoke, so did ward Councillors then the developer’s agent (note – not the developer or architect), the pub operator spoke and for half an hour officers at Brent council put up a pitiful and withering defence of their plan to demolish the pub.
Queensbury rules went out of the window. Often misleading and befuddling the committee, suddenly we were no longer up against a developer but officer(s) desperate to get a decision through. Councillors were excellent in their questioning – how is a metal roof in character with Mapesbury when there are no other metal roofs? What is the public benefit of the scheme? Where is the pub kitchen in the plans (answer, there is no pub kitchen in the plans). Can you guarantee a pub in the new scheme (long pause, “No”).
And then to a vote: five opted to save the pub and two voted to demolish.
Material planning reasons for refusal were: insufficient architectural merit; out of character with the Mapesbury Conservation Area in terms of excessive height, design and massing; and lack of a legal agreement to control resulting harm.
Once the cheers had subsided the frustration kicked in.
How did these plans even come for a decision? Why was there no mention of Save The Queensbury in the 75 pages of reports? Why did officers quote half sentences of the previous appeal decision and leave out the other half that favoured conservation?
A complaint was lodged with Brent Council before we even left the building, followed by collaring the Leader of the Council at the tube station.
Well done to the community for turning out in great numbers in spite of the rain. Thank you to the ward Councillors who spoke and others who sent deputations and comments to the meeting. Well done to the residents associations in Mapesbury, Willesden Green, Fordwych, NW2 and also the Willesden and Cricklewood town teams for their ongoing support. Well done to Busy Rascals for pointing out just how uncertain the community activity is and how little they’ve been informed by the developer.
What next?
Round seven in August.
No respite: an Appeal on the plans that Brent kicked out in May this year.
A five day public inquiry which starts on Wednesday 28th August.

Decision Day for The Queensbury – Wednesday 19th June 2019

Decision Day

Brent Council will be deciding on the fate of The Queensbury next Wednesday 19th June at a meeting which starts at 6pm at Brent Civic Centre.

There are two plans to demolish The Queensbury – one (Scheme A below) is recommended to be Refused and the other (Scheme B below) is recommended to be Approved.

We now hope that members of the committee will do as they did before and go against the recommendation of their officers.

Why? Both schemes are inappropriate at the location and both are strikingly similar to that already refused by the council. There is simply no logic in refusing two and agreeing to this one.

We have asked to speak at the meeting and encourage you to do the same, to make our voices heard. Contact joe.kwateng@brent.gov.uk at Brent council to request a slot.

Wednesday next week could be Last Orders for The Queensbury.

Act now: show your support by attending in person Brent Civic Centre at 6pm Wednesday 19th of June.

Last orders at the Queensbury ?

Last Orders 2

There are worrying signs coming from Brent Council and we fear they are about to call last orders at The Queensbury.

Brent have penciled in Wednesday 19th June as the date they will decide on the two plans before them (scheme A and scheme B which are almost identical, both derided locally).

If the council supports either scheme, the developer will withdraw the Appeal which is set for late August.

Why the pessimism?

Brent have missed three deadlines over the last 5 months to prepare for the Appeal (deadlines set out by the government). Brent do not intend to spend money on defending their previous decision to save The Queensbury until these two applications are decided upon – by themselves. In other words, passing one application will save them a heap of cash and bring in more Community Infrastructure Levy to hand out to their favourite developers.

Obviously we have complained in the strongest terms and ask you to do the same by contacting your Councillor. Details are below.

Mapesbury:

Lia Colacicco

Councillor Tariq Dar MBE

Councillor Ahmad Shahzad OBE

Willesden:

Elliot Chappell

Fleur Donnelly-Jackson

Tom Miller

SAVE THE DATE – WEDNESDAY 19TH JUNE – FOR ANOTHER TRIP TO THE CIVIC CENTRE

Spot The Difference at The Queensbury

Easter 2019
Letters have dropped through doors with technical jargon about 110 Walm Lane and The Queensbury which has left even the hardened campaigners confused as to what is going on. Here is our attempt to explain:
The developer has two plans lodged with Brent for a decision. Scheme A and Scheme B. The differences between the two (below) are marginal. The developer recently shifted some internal walls so technically they have to inform locals about the changes. That is why letters have been sent out.
SCHEME A
 Scheme A
SCHEME B
Scheme B
More sinister, there is a document tucked away which has been added to both revised applications in which the developer claims to have considered whether to retain the existing pub. Among the hundreds of technical documents over the last 6 years this proposal gets just one page, below with scant consideration as to why this option is not possible.
RETAINING THE QUEENSBURY
Retaining the QB
Please write to Brent and tell them the developer has not properly considered a scheme which retains The Queensbury. Nor did they exhibit this last year or offer it as an option on the forms handed out at the exhibition.
While you are online ask Brent why there isn’t a kitchen in the plans for the replacement pub, why there is zero noise reduction between the pub and the upstairs flats (leading to complaints then the pub shutting) and also the toilets are in the basement (putting Busy Rascals pram and wheelchair users off).
Please keep responding. The developer is banking on people becoming fatigued and using lack of response as implied acceptance of the revised plans.
THIS HAS LITTLE RELEVANCE TO THE APPEAL WHICH IS STILL SCHEDULED FOR LATE AUGUST!
HAPPY EASTER! HAPPY EASTER! and SPOT THE DIFFERENCE . . .
Easter 2019 bottom

Queensbury Rules – time for a party

A government inspector will decide in August whether Brent Council was right to refuse permission to demolish The Queensbury. The inquiry will sit for five days, starting on 28th August 2019. Just like with the last Appeal, we think we should have a voice at the Inquiry so we have asked for (and been granted) Rule 6 Party status.

What is Rule 6?

Save The Queensbury has been confirmed as a “Rule 6″ party at the inquiry and we are now working with the local Resident’s Associations, Councillors and a Barrister to prepare our “case” in advance of the inquiry. We have to submit our papers by 20th March 2019.

Why are we asking to be a Rule 6 party?

Being a Rule 6 party is a significant undertaking of time and effort. This campaign follows whatever process is necessary to protect the existing building (as the best way of protecting the pub and maintaining conservation). We believe the heritage role the building plays has been understated by the developer (and the council). Plus……. Even if… the pub is to be demolished we want to best protect a community space and pub in a new development.

So many developers promise to put pubs into a development then change their minds once planning approval has been received. Incredible, but true.

What will it cost?

We have some talented locals in the area but sustaining this campaign (now in its 8th year) is so draining!

Please step forward if you can help. We are not asking for money – our Barrister is pro bono and we have advice from the Campaign For Real Ale – so we aren’t looking for financial support but need more people to be involved.

How can you get involved?

Keep talking about the pub and how it is threatened. Email any group / association / forum you are on, or any local WhatsApp group and tell your neighbours. If you have anything to contribute – expertise, photocopying, posters, step forward now!

The Inquiry runs over five days and we will need people to attend and listen to how it’s going.

Please get in touch NOW if you know you will be available and willing to sit in on proceedings and show support in any way.

Queensbury yet again recognised as an Asset of Community Value – Hooray !

The Queensbury pub has once again been recognised as an Asset of Community Value. Hooray!

Brent Council has confirmed to accept the pub on their list for the second time. The Queensbury was the council’s first ACV, five years ago and it joins Kensal Rise library and a handful of others that are accepted as providing a significant role in their communities.

This is the first building to reapply for this status and it gives an extra layer of protection and should serve to warn prospective developers just how much The Queensbury is cherished locally.

Is ACV status important? Being on the list means that if the building is sold, the clock stops for six months to enable the community to bid to buy it (if the pub closes). More importantly for us, we will be pressing very hard to have the pub’s community status featuring prominently as a “material planning matter” when Brent and the government Inspector consider plans for The Queensbury later this year.

To recap, there are three plans submitted to demolish the pub.  Brent council will decide on two, over the next few weeks. The third is scheduled for a marathon public inquiry in late August.

ACT NOW and make sure you mention the community asset status when you object to the planning applications via these links:

Please go to Brent’s site for applications 18/4675 and 18/4701