It’s summer and time for an update on our campaign to save The Queensbury, following the appeal by Fairview Homes which was refused in March. It’s been quiet but we’ve not been idle.
Last month we wrote to Brent Council with a formal request to add 110 Walm Lane to their “local list” of buildings, and for it to happen NOW! (Buildings on the list are given special consideration when proposals to demolish are lodged).
The inspector’s report on 110 Walm Lane is compelling and Brent should use this evidence to list the building and protect it. We are tired of waiting around and hearing excuses for inaction while Fairview Homes plan their next application.
We’ve always figured that we’re in a battle with Brent’s planning department as much as Fairview and we formally complained about Brent’s apparent review of the building – they say it’s run-down and deteriorating, not worthy of saving. We asked for a formal review, in light of the inspector report because we disagree.
We have also asked yet again for the council to adopt a wider pub protection policy, NOW and send a message to developers that the council will look very closely at applications which seek to demolish pubs. Our complaint asked for an officer outside the planning department to investigate, to avoid us turning round saying “they’ve investigated themselves and found they are not at fault.”
Guess what happened next?
Brent’s Chief Exec asked the Head Operational Director of Planning to investigate (go figure) and he did respond to our complaint, pointing to cuts and staff turnover for the lack of attention to our cause. He can’t see where they’ve done anything wrong, aside from not having enough staff.
How soon is now?
There will be a meeting of the Planning Committee at the Brent Civic Centre in Wembley on 29th July at which we believe pub protection and the “local list” of buildings will be discussed (we need to wait until the week before the meeting when the papers are published to see what exactly is being proposed). Heaven knows we may see some progress, we’ve already waited too long, but all our hope is not yet gone…
We’ll be at the meeting and we’re hoping to address the councillors yet again. There’s been great support from people attending at these meetings in the past so if you’d like to come please get in touch.
Regardless of the meeting on 29th July, Fairview Homes own the site and while they do they will want to develop it – we agree but we think development should not mean demolition! We believe the inspector’s report gives Brent Council sufficient grounds to use all its powers to protect the pub, before it goes the same way as The Corrib Rest or even The Carlton Tavern.