Owner of Willesden pub facing closure claims Brent Council ignores residents’ views
- Credit: Archant
The owner of Willesden pub facing demolition to make way for new flats claims Brent Council is prepared to redevelop the area regardless of the consequences.
Chris Williams from the Queensbury Pub in Walm Lane, has spoken out after the council rejected requests to add the pub on the list of Assets of Community Value (ACV).
The community hoped an ACV would prevent of it from plans by Fairview New Homes to develop the site.
Mr Williams, who opened the pub 11 years ago, said: “The council’s whole ethos is to redevelop the whole area whatever way shape or form regardless of the consequences.
“They’ve done it with Willesden Green library and it seems to be trying to do it with everything else.
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“They seem to have the modernistic view of what they want in Brent so woes betide anybody who doesn’t agree with that approach.”
The pub, in operation as a social club since 1925 is also used by Busy Rascals, a parent and toddler group and for National Childbirth Trust meetings for new parents.
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Mr Williams said that if the council wants a new development it needs to put back something of use to the community within that development.
He added: “This doesn’t mean a silly little room that they call a community room, it means something where grown ups and families can actually unwind and enjoy their life outside of their own four walls.
“At this current moment in time this has been provided by Queensbury Pub. It is an unwinding place for a lot of people and it’s a place to mingle meet and socialise.”
Ian Elliot from the Save The Queensbury Group, said: “We are disappointed but we are not defeated. We will try again.
“We think that Brent Council have sided with the Fairview Homes rather than doing what they’re supposed to do and take the nomination from the community so we’re going to try again, we’re not going to give up.”
The campaigner has garnered support from an array of people including boyband The Wanted, Ken Livingstone, Cricklewood resident and former Mayor of London, Sarah Teather, Lib Dem MP for Brent Central.
Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, recently told the Times it would be “a shame” to lose the venue and added that he would talk to developers to try and retain a community space.
A spokesman for Brent Council said: “The recent nomination covered the whole site at 110 Walm Lane which includes a number of activities; a commercially operated car park, a disused conservative club, commercially let office space, a small residential flat and the Queensbury pub.
“The Localism Act sets out legal criteria for listing buildings and land of community use.
On the basis of the multiple use of the land nominated the criteria were not met in this case.”