Fears Queensbury Pub application will be passed to avoid costly public inquiry by developer
PUBLISHED: 11:18 06 June 2019
Campaigners fighting to save a Willesden Green pub from the wrecking ball have slammed Brent Council for missing three statutory deadlines ahead of a developer’s appeal.
The Queensbury Pub, at 110 Walm Lane, is subject to a second public inquiry in August brought forward by Redbourne Ltd after its planning application was refused by Brent Council.
The developer put in plans to demolish and replace the pub with 48 flats within a five-storey block, with a bar on the ground floor. They were kicked out by the council in May last year.
Redbourne appealed and then put in two new "near-identical" planning applications.
Brent Council has missed three statutory deadlines ahead of the inquiry, which is causing concern within the community.
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Ian Elliot, of Save the Queensbury, said: "We feel as though the council is ringing the bell for last orders. It shouldn't be them - it should be the government inspector who considers evidence over five days. It shouldn't be Brent Council doing it by inertia and by being ground down."
The group is confirmed as a "Rule 6" party at the inquiry, which means it can testify.
He added: "Brent Council should be preparing for this public inquiry. It's a big deal - it is a government-led inquiry. They have set out time scales for things people need to do ahead of August."
The first deadline to submit statements was the first week of January. "We did ours, the developers did theirs and the council didn't do theirs," said Ian. "They asked for an extension to March, March came and went, then they asked for another extension to May, May has been and gone, and they've told the inspector this week they don't want to expend costs [...] because they've got two applications in by the developer."
A council spokesperson insisted: "The council will robustly defend its previous decision to refuse planning permission if the current appeal proceeds."
But they added Brent had been working with both the local community and, as per national policy, with the developer "to get a better scheme". "The pub is proposed to be demolished," they said, "[but] a replacement will be provided in both the refused scheme and the new proposal. This aligns with the council's pub protection policy."
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