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Council throws out planning permission to redevelop The Good Ship

PUBLISHED: 17:03 14 June 2018

Sam Williams, centre, performing at The Good Ship in Kilburn High Road. Picture: Sam Williams

Sam Williams, centre, performing at The Good Ship in Kilburn High Road. Picture: Sam Williams

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Campaigners are celebrating after Brent Council threw out an application to flatten The Good Ship pub and music venue in Kilburn High Road.

The Good Ship in Kilburn High Road, pictured in 2009. Picture: Ewan Munro/Flickr/Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)The Good Ship in Kilburn High Road, pictured in 2009. Picture: Ewan Munro/Flickr/Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A planning application to replace the building with nine flats and a medical centre was turned down by the planning committee on Monday.

The popular local venue shut in October 2017 after its closing time was rolled back to 1.30am. It was bought by KHR Properties, which set out plans to demolish the pub and build a five-storey block in its place. The developer had also applied for “change of use” for the ground floor and basement to “medical use”.

Sam Williams, who was assistant manager at The Good Ship for three and a half years, told the Times: “It was incredibly gutting when it closed down. Now Kilburn doesn’t have anything representing the arts.

“The students at the nearby London’s Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, who used to showcase their work there, have lost out.

“It was everyone’s favourite little bar at the bottom of Kilburn High Road. It would be great to see another music venue there – and definitely not more flats or storage.”

Councillors on the planning committee said it was too soon to write off the possibility of a pub on the site. “The proposal would result in the loss of an existing public house,” states the decision notice, “without adequate replacement or justification by failing to demonstrate that the existing public house is economically unviable.

“The proposal would also constitute the loss of a service of particular value to the local community.”

The council criticised the developer’s plans, saying they “would not provide an adequate overall standard of accommodation for future occupiers, by virtue of the lack of amenity space”.

Supporters of the pub had written letters to the committee urging it to turn down the plans.

The committee of the Kilburn Neighbourhood Plan Forum said in one: “This site has proved very popular and valuable for both local residents and visitors to Kilburn.

“It provides invaluable meeting and socialising space as well as an appropriate venue to host live music and comedy.

“It is essential to re-invigorate the cultural and night-life economy of Kilburn High Road.”

Fans of the venue were delighted with the council’s decision.

“Building saved! Reason for refusal encouraging as means pub cannot be converted to shop, church, chemist etc. Give us back our music venue!” tweeted Joanne Scott.

KHR Properties could not be immediately contacted for comment.

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