Now that the public exhibition of Fairview’s latest plans to demolish The Queensbury is over they have begun invite local councillors in to meet them in order to convince them that the community is supportive of their plans and that Busy Rascals will be accommodated in the new development. Both claims are untrue so we wrote to every councillor in Brent to tell them so.
You will recall that initial plans to demolish The Queensbury pub in Mapesbury conservation area) were withdrawn earlier this year following a vigorous campaign to retain the building. In their application, Fairview Homes claimed the community supported these plans, which included a 10 storey tower block and no community provision to replace the loss of The Queensbury. Clearly the community did not support these plans, given the almost unprecedented size and weight of the formal objections to Brent Council.
Fairview Homes also objected to the Asset of Community Value nomination via two lengthy letters from their legal representatives. In those letters they claim that Busy Rascals activities are not permitted in the pub, which is untrue. They also questioned the viability of The Queensbury which, again, is untrue. The local NW2 Residents Association submitted the nomination and will do so again shortly.
We want you to be fully informed of developments because you may have been contacted recently by Lexington Communications, who are keen to sell Fairview plans to Councillors before submitting a revised planning application.
The revisions proposed include a token cafe on the ground floor and Lexington are attempting to convince the Busy Rascals community group to support this. We want you to know that they do not support this. In fact Busy Rascals were signatures on the ACV nomination to the council to protect the existing building.
If you are invited to meet Lexington / Fairview to discuss their revised plans, why not ask:
How many people who attended the Fairview Homes exhibition over the summer on the revised plans actually supported demolition of The Queensbury?
We monitored these sessions – they were attended by 155 people and 96% were against their plans.
Is the community space and cafe an adequate replacement for The Queensbury?
Answer, no. It is smaller, both inside and outside and is a cafe (which Willesden is saturated with) and not a gastropub (which Willesden has just one – The Queensbury).
Fairview seem keen to involve Busy Rascals in developing this space. Can they guarantee Busy Rascals exclusive use?
Answer, no. Fairview have indicated that the space will be a commercial proposition. Planners cannot impose anything other onto Fairview Homes via the planning process.
How can Fairview justify demolishing a landmark building, in a conversation area?
Answer, Fairview claim Brent Officers have given the green light for this. We believe it is Councillors who sanction permission, not officers.
Why not have a quality gastropub on the ground floor, not a cafe?
Answer, Fairview will tell you that developers do not like pubs on the ground floor because of noise nuisance. This is untrue. In fact the new-build development next to The Queensbury is within 2 metres of the pub. The real answer is because flats immediately above will not sell for quite as much as those higher up. So this is simply a chase for maximum profit.
How have Fairview worked with the community on their latest plans?
Answer, they held two shambolic sessions earlier in the summer and were dismissive of any suggestion that the building can be retained in an alternative development. There has been no engagement with the Save The Queensbury group and in spite of attempts to undermine Busy Rascals via the asset of community value process they are desperate to claim they are supportive of their alternative plans. They are not.
Please do get in touch if and when you meet Fairview Homes / Lexington Communications.
the Save The Queensbury Group