There is considerable and widespread local support to save The Queensbury. The pub is a viable, thriving business that serves the community in multiple significant ways. Six planning applications have not only sought to change the use of the buildings from a public house to residential accommodation, but also to demolish The Queensbury altogether. All this in a conservation area.
The Queensbury is a vital community space, attracting people from Willesden Green and further afield in North West London. It is used not only for eating, drinking and socialising, but it also hosts daily courses, classes, networks and events for parents, children and families.
Every morning, Monday to Saturday, there are children and parent activities, such as those run by the Busy Rascals group www.busyrascals.com and classes include: child first-aid, weaning support, baby yoga and storytelling for children. These groups struggled for years to find a suitable venue in Willesden until they were welcomed by The Queensbury. The redevelopment threatens to make them homeless again, probably killing them entirely.
The Queensbury also plays a substantial role in supporting the wider community, sponsoring local events such as food, drink and prizes at the Olive Road Jubilee Street Party.
The Queensbury is a responsible venue with a thriving restaurant and diverse clientele. The pub has been operating for over 10 years and has many years to run on its current lease.
The Queensbury has played a leading role in helping to regenerate the Willesden Green area. Removing it will have a negative impact on the local economy and vibrancy of Willesden Green.
The development threatens the integrity of the Mapesbury Conservation Area
The Queensbury and former Conservative Club are in a highly regulated Conservation Area. The loss of the existing building and its public house role is detrimental to the character of the conservation area.
Brent’s policy BE27 states that “consent will not be given for the demolition of a building, or alteration involving demolition of part of a building, in a conservation area unless the building, or part of the building, positively detracts from the character or appearance of the Conservation Area.” Granting permission to change use and enable demolition would be in direct contradiction of this policy. [BE27 is a ‘saved Unitary Development Plan Policy’ which Brent planners have to consider]
If Brent contravenes its own protection policies and approves development, the current plan will have a significant visual impact on the Mapesbury Conservation Area and on the Grade II Listed building opposite (Willesden Green tube station). In planning terms, it will ruin the setting of the Conservation Area.
A building in a Conservation Area is in a Conservation Area, whether it is in the middle or at the edge. Claiming that it doesn’t matter because it’s on the fringes erodes the whole of the Conservation Area and sets an ominous precedent. The existing building is entirely consistent with the Mapesbury Conservation Area whereas the replacement tall glass tower block will not be. And the existing pub provide active frontage that positively contributes to the safety and vibrancy of Willesden Green.