ABC Scheming to Save The Queensbury

This week has seen a cynical (desperate) attempt by Redbourne to swamp the local council and residents with three plans, at what is the busiest week of the year. 

Two planning applications have been thrown in this week, with variations on the same theme:– 48 flats with insufficient Affordable housing. This is AS WELL AS the scheme currently being appealed. The new plans are Scheme A and Scheme B. See below Let’s call the scheme being appealed Scheme C. 

A,B and C downplay the existing building, all have a replacement pub doomed before it even opens because of its substandard design. The developer is trying to portray  that there are few options for The Queensbury other than demolition. 

We disagree. There is a plan D, which would make less profit but retain the existing building. This developer is clearly not interested in Plan D. 

PEOPLE OF WILLESDEN STAY FOCUSSED: What is important is to comment on Plan C – the Refused scheme which is being appealed. The government’s planning inspector needs your comments by 3rd January - still OPEN. Brent Council website is still taking comments as of 16/04/2019.

There are sound planning reasons to object to all of these plans as being detrimental to Willesden and Mapesbury: 

  • The replacement building does not preserve or enhance the conservation area – especially looking from inside the conservation area 
  • The existing building makes a positive contribution to the historic interest of the area, which will be lost 
  • The existing building also makes a positive contribution to the setting of the listed station, which according to the previous Appeal inspector, would be desirable to preserve
  • The mass of the base block (to the rear) is too bulky for the setting
  • The design of the proposal is detrimental to the conservation area
  • The proposal contains a pub but the design is poor – there is no soundproofing built into the design which means complaints from those above, and the pub becoming unviable. Those in the business refer to this as a “Trojan Horse” 
  • There is insufficient affordable housing proposed 
  • There are no safeguards for Busy Rascal, i.e. no legal agreements for them to continue whilst building works are underway. Nothing in the plans about how they would operate in the new premises. Both were promised by the previous developer as planning conditions. 

ONLY AFTER you have commented to the inspector, turn your attention to the new scheme via Brent’s website: 

Planning apps 18/4675 https://bit.ly/2LrpCTY 

And 18/4701 https://bit.ly/2rJpYfD 

Only comment once, but mention the other when you do. Neither of these will be considered before the Appeal. If the Appeal is kicked out (again) then so will these two. 

Merry Christmas to you all. Let’s hope it’s a good one, without scheme A,B,C.

Scheme A and B

Railway side scheme A and B

Scheme C

All I want for Christmas is The Queensbury

Action Stations

The latest plan to demolish The Queensbury at 110 Walm Lane was refused by Brent Council in May. The developer is now appealing to a government inspector and the deadline for comments from local residents is 3rd JANUARY 2019.

Please make your views known to the Inspector, the more the better. Head to this website:

Click on Make Representation – as a local resident you are an “Interested Person”

What should you say? Use your own words, but the things relevant to the Appeal are:

Conservation stuff

The Queensbury is a standout / gateway building at a cornerstone location, undervalued as a community asset and should be retained.

The proposed building is not a worthy replacement of the existing building, because of its poor design.

Demolition of the building and putting up 48 flats does not outweigh the harm that the proposal would cause to the character and appearance of the Mapesbury Conservation Area.

The proposal would not preserve the character and appearance of the Mapesbury Conservation Area, it is a modern-looking step backwards.

The scheme does not have enough affordable housing to justify demolition of the existing building.

The existing building should be protected on a local list, as the previous appeal suggested.

Pub stuff

There is a lot of debate about the new design of the building compared with the existing, but nothing about the design of the pub in the new building.

The replacement Queensbury will have low ceilings, limited outdoor space (overlooked by balconies of flats above) and lack character both inside and out.

There are no safeguards to protect the pub’s viability in a new scheme. For example lack of soundproofing of residential flats above the pub will lead to complaints (threatening the viability of the pub).

Access for prams and wheelchair users is restricted, because toilets are in the basement. The current building has one level access and toilets on the same floor. This is important for Busy Rascals users and the new design is a step backwards.

The previous plans insisted that the developer returns to Brent Council for specific permission to change the use from a pub to something else in the future. (Some developers promise a pub then say one isn’t viable, further down the line and once development has been approved. This will help stop that).

Busy Rascals stuff

Busy Rascals will be homeless. This impacts not just families using The Queensbury but the teachers who are paid to run classes.

At the last appeal the developer (Fairview Homes) provided a “ground floor use and operation statement” and accepted an obligation via a s106 agreement to find suitable accommodation for Busy Rascals during construction AND that development would not start until the developer had identified and made available the temporary community accommodation. This appeal should contain the same but it does not.

What Happens Next?

Please get comments in by 3rd January

Later in January a date will be set for the Appeal, likely to be a five day public inquiry and probably not before March 2019.

In the meantime, tell your friends and neighbours and encourage them to comment too.