Queensbury Pub in Willesden Green saved a second time from a developer’s wrecking ball
PUBLISHED: 17:46 02 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:11 31 May 2018
Campaigners in Willesden Green are delighted Brent’s planning chiefs have refused a developer’s application to demolish their much loved pub.
The Queensbury pub in Walm Lane has been saved from the wrecking ball for the second time after officers turned down an application by Redbourne (Queensbury)Ltd.
Draft plans were for a mixed use five storey development with 48 flats and a “new” pub with a function room.
Back in 2015 developers Fairview Homes lost its appeal to build a 10-storey flat with 56 flats.
The council said the application was refused because of its size, its poor design and how it failed to “preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the Mapesbury Conservation Area” where it is located.
Some flats were too small, or had poor views, and not enough of them were affordable, the report added.
Ian Elliot, of campaign group Save the Queensbury, said: “We are delighted that Brent Council has once again refused permission to demolish the pub - Brent’s first Asset of Community Value.
“This sends a clear message that this historic building should be protected from opportunist developers.”
He added: “Yes we need affordable housing but not at all costs to conservation. This is an iconic building, serving the community well and we would welcome a proper dialogue with Brent on its future - the same level of access the developer has had to cook these plans up over the last year.”
The former Conservative Club building was sold to Fairview New Homes in 2012 and plans soon emerged to demolish the pub.
The council decided in March 2014 not to bulldoze the building 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 feared being relocated if plans were given the green light.
Sharmine Chowdhury-Tse, founder of Busy Rascals, said: “I am pleased that finally a decision by the council has been made and that there is more time to prepare for the future of Busy Rascals and safeguarding this important service.”
A Brent Council spokesman said: “Brent Council refused a planning application yesterday to demolish The Queensbury pub and replace it with a new building.
“Both the size and design of the proposed building were considered to fail to preserve or enhance the appearance of the Mapesbury Conservation Area, or to provide an adequate standard of accommodation.
“Officers also noted how the scheme fell short in other areas of policy, such as in failing to provide enough affordable housing, in reducing carbon emissions and in failing to address the additional pressures that would be put on local transport infrastructure.”
Redbourne has up to six months to appeal the decision.