The appeal by Fairview New Homes has been dismissed by the government Inspector. The Queensbury is saved, again!
Two years of campaigning are summarised in a 17 page letter from the Inspector, received today. The design was flawed, the case for a “landmark” building was flawed, the impact on the conservation area would have been severe. The Inspector gave more reasons than Brent Council (they refused permissionoriginally, in March last year) and the decision is very thorough.
The Inspector noted our campaign and acknowledged that some comments he received “attest to the high esteem in which the venue is held as a well managed, safe and congenial social facility in an area where these are felt to be lacking.” Yep.
In a nutshell he says “the adverse impacts in this instance would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposal.” Yep.
We are very proud of what we have achieved. We were up against a legal team in a five day inquiry and an architect who paraded his awards for design. Fairview threw tens of thousands of pounds at a QC Barrister (no wonder when you consider the price of apartments in Willesden).
We are convinced that had we not taken full part in the Inquiry then the reasons for refusal would have been diluted and Brent’s decision probably overturned. So…….. well done us.
What’s next? The ball is in Fairview’s court but we’d like to see a scheme that retains the building. Fairview will have to go back to the drawing board (literally) and return with something more sensible, or dispose of the land to someone less greedy and willing to reduce their profit. Or they could play the long game and allow the lease on the pub to expire in 2017 and let the building dilapidate (aka The Spotted Dog).
One things is certain – we will be vigilant and continue to fight for our local community buildings, doing our best to protect them.
You can read the inspector’s full decision here