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Battle back on to save a Willesden Green pub from redevelopment

PUBLISHED: 11:07 28 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:12 28 September 2017

Draft design of what a new Queensbury Pub might look like (Picture: Quatro)

Draft design of what a new Queensbury Pub might look like (Picture: Quatro)

Archant

Campaigners who saved a popular pub in Willesden Green from a wrecking ball two years are facing another fight to stop it being redeveloped.

Campaigners and councillors campaigned against a 10 storey tower replacing the Queensbury Pub in 2015 (Picture: Nathalie Raffray) Campaigners and councillors campaigned against a 10 storey tower replacing the Queensbury Pub in 2015 (Picture: Nathalie Raffray)

The Queensbury Pub, at 110 Walm Lane, much loved by the local community, faces an uncertain future.

Quatro, a public relations company, is holding a pre-consultation open day at St Gabriel’s Church hall in Walm Lane today and tomorrow from 4pm-8pm on behalf of the Winston Group.

Draft plans are for a mixed use development with 48 flats and a “new” pub with a function room.

Ian Elliot, of Save The Queensbury, said: “Here we are again. We’re not really surprised developers have come back for another bite of the cherry but we don’t know what their exact plans are yet. We’ve received no notification from them. It looks like the start of a very long process once again.”

He added: “We said before that there’s scope to build around the pub with a much more sympathetic design, low rise building which is more befitting of the conservation area.”

The former Conservative Club building was sold to Fairview New Homes in 2012. Plans soon emerged to demolish the pub and build a 10 storey building with 56 flats.

The council decided in March 2014 not to bulldoze the pub and the same year identified it as an asset of community value.

The following year Fairview took its appeal to a public inquiry where the government’s planning inspectorate ruled the pub would not be demolished.

Various community groups are based in the pub including baby and parent group Busy Rascals, which could be forced to relocate if plans are given the green light.

Sharmine Chowdhury-Tse, founder of Busy Rascals, said: “I understand the need for housing but we’ve also got a number of groups which are run from the Queensbury. It could represent a big loss if we are not factored into their plans.”

A spokesman for the Winston Group said: “This mixed-use development would protect the character of the local area and compliment the character of the Mapesbury and Willesden Green conservation areas.

“Whilst these new homes are much needed, our plans safeguard the future of the pub, and its community function, that people campaigned to keep. We are very keen to meet residents during our consultation, to hear their views and make sure this new and improved development works for them.”

The spokesman added that the property was purchased earlier this year by Redbourne Ltd, a Winston Group subsidiary.

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