November campaign update

** NEXT MEETING: TUESDAY 27 NOVEMBER, 7pm @ THE QUEENSBURY**

This is the first update since we started the campaign to Save The Queensbury pub in Willesden Green from demolition and development. Hopefully you will find the update useful. Please get in touch if you have, or need, any further information.

What do we know? Two planning applications have been submitted by Fairview Homes to demolish The Queensbury pub and erect a block of flats, between 2 and 10 storeys high. Fairview Homes already owns the land. Brent Council will need to decide whether to grant permission, but a date has not been set for the decision. It could be before Christmas or, more likely, in early 2013.

What have we done so far? In mid October local people who love The Queensbury pub, The Queensbury deli (its sister business) and the local area in general started a petition, gathering signatures outside Willesden Green tube station. A few days later, 20 people met up to formulate a plan to save the the pub. These people were frustrated that so few local residents had been made aware of the proposal. So they printed leaflets, set up this website, started a Twitter feed, established a Facebook page and created an online petition on Brent’s website. Some of these volunteers also went door-to-door to raise awareness and collect signatures, with the result that the paper petition has grown enormously!

Who else is with us? Some Brent Councillors, both  Labour and Lib Dem, have objected to the development, along with the former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and the local MP Sarah Teather. Pop band The Wanted, who also live locally, have added their support bringing us global awareness. We’ve had lots of coverage in the local and regional media (see here). We have also enjoyed expert support from the Campaign for Real Ale (CamRA) who know a thing or two about how to keep pubs open. Locally there are community groups trying to keep libraries open and protect Willesden Green and they have given excellent support, along with the NW2 Residents’ Association and the Willesden Green Town Team.

What can you do? If you’ve not done so already please formally object to both planning applications on the Brent website. You can also sign the online petition and drop an email to your Councillor(s). All these objections have to be taken into account when Brent Council makes its decision. Ask your neighbour to do the same! If you have time to hand out or deliver leaflets in the area, or even knock on a few doors, get in touch and we’ll tell you how.

What’s next? We are awaiting a date from Brent Council about when they intend to make the decision. However, this decision will be only the first step in the process. This could take a long time with appeals and revisions on both sides, but we are a determined group! We want to save the pub not just for drinkers but for the whole community.

Our next campaign meeting will be on Tuesday 27th November, 7pm at the Queensbury, all welcome, please drop us a note to say if you can attend.

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