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