Rumours are rife that the owners of The Queensbury are heavily in debt and wish to fold their business. Are they true? Do they matter?
Many people will have heard the rumours circulating that the Queensbury pub is unviable and the owners are desperate to leave. These rumours have been spread by representatives of Fairview Homes since October when the original planning application was submitted. The owners have now responded and their statement can be found here.
We are pleased that the Queensbury owners have put on record their desire to continue running a business at 110 Walm Lane. In addition we would like to point out the following:
- a debt of a holding company is not the same as a business’s profit and loss account. To pick a random figure from a set of accounts and state that it means the pub is unviable is highly disingenuous.
- The Queensbury has proved that it is a viable pub. This has been confirmed by the owners, by discussions with CAMRA, and by the residents who pack it out night after night. With its location and its demographic, we suspect that this would be the case whoever was running the pub.
- the financial affairs of the pub owners are not a material planning consideration when deciding whether to grant permission for “change of use” from drinking establishment to residential premises.
We are seeking a meeting with representatives of Fairview Homes at which we will ask them to refrain from spreading such rumours which, we believe, are an attempt to undermine support within the community for the campaign to save the Queensbury. In addition, at this meeting we will be requesting that Fairview produces alternative plans for the site at 110 Walm Lane which respects the community’s demand that they preserve the existing pub and build around it, rather than demolish it.