Joy for campaigners as Queensbury Pub in Willesden is saved from the wrecking ball
PUBLISHED: 10:52 13 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:24 13 March 2014
Residents are celebrating after Brent Council rejected plans to demolish a popular pub in Willesden to make way for a housing development.
Residents who have campaigned to save a popular Willesden pub leapt for joy after planning chiefs rejected plans for its demolition.
The fate of the Queensberry Pub in Walm Lane, was sealed after a marathon deliberation process at a planning meeting yesterday evening.
For two hours members of the Save our Queensbury Pub (SQP) issued passionate pleas to the council to save the building which also doubles as community hub including a parents’ group.
Only two councillors voted for the controversial proposals, six voted against with one abstention.
How councillors on the planning committee voted
Voted for the plans: Cllr Ann John (Stonebridge) and Sandra Kabir (Queensbury). Against: Cllr Abdi Aden (Barnhill), Michael Adeyeye (Queens Park), Mark Cummins (Brondesbury Park), Sami Hashmi (Mapesbury), Dhiraj Kataria (Welsh Harp) and James Powney (Kensal Green).
Abstained: Cllr Ketan Sheth (Tokyngton).
Ian Elliott, who has been a prominent member of the campaign, said: “We are delighted that members listened and agreed with residents.”
“The ball is now in the developers court on what happens next. We hope the developer will work on a more acceptable scheme with the community, and not appeal the decision that will be costly to the taxpayer.”
SQP campaigners feared the worst when planning officers who visited the site on Saturday gave stamp of approval to plans which would have seen the beloved pub reduced to rubble.
Mr Elliott added: “It was a brave decision to turn down the recommendations but it was the right decision on behalf of the community.”
Under the proposals by Fairview Homes, the pub would be destroyed and replaced with replaced with tower block of flats comprising of 56 residential apartments, 23 car parking spaces and a community space.
In January a petition boasting more than 4,000 signatures was handed in to Cllr Michael Pavey, Brent Council’s lead member for children and families, who showed his support for the campaign.
The pub is home to various community groups including baby and parent groups including Busy Rascals, which would have been forced to relocate if plans where given the green light.
The campaign has drawn support from a host of known names including Sarah Teather, Lib Dem MP for Brent Central, former Mayor of London and Cricklewood-resident Ken Livingstone and boyband The Wanted.
“This decision is great news for everyone who has campaigned so vigorously against the developers’ proposals,” Ms Teather said.
“The Queensbury pub is very popular with local residents and its importance to the area was confirmed when Brent Council rightly made it an asset of community value last year. It would have been a significant loss to Willesden Green and the surrounding areas if it had been demolished.”
Fairview Homes have refused to comment.