Thursday 14 March 2013

Queensbury developers 'trying every trick in the book'

 The Save The Queensbury group is demanding that developers Fairview Homes play fair in their attempt to gain planning permission to demolish the Queensbury pub.

The Campaign says:

Since October, when the original planning application was submitted, representatives acting on behalf of Fairview Homes have been active in fuelling rumours that the pub is unviable and that the owners are desperate to leave. We are pleased that the Queensbury owners have put on record their desire to continue running a business at 110 Walm Lane. In addition we would like to point out the following:

• a debt of a holding company is not the same as a business's profit and loss account. To pick a random figure from a set of accounts and state that it means the pub is unviable is highly disingenuous.

• The Queensbury has proved that it is a viable pub. This has been confirmed by the owners, by discussions with CAMRA, and by the residents who pack it out night after night. With its its location and its demographic, we suspect that this would be the case whoever was running the pub.

• the financial affairs of the pub owners are not a material planning consideration when deciding whether to grant permission for "change of use" from drinking establishment to residential premises.

We are now seeking a meeting with representatives of Fairview Homes at which we will ask them to refrain from spreading such rumours which, we believe, are an attempt to undermine support within the community for the campaign to save the Queensbury. In addition, at this meeting we will be requesting that Fairview produces alternative plans for the site at 110 Walm Lane which respects the community's demand that they preserve the existing pub and build around it, rather than demolish it

Ian Elliott of the Save The Queensbury group said:
The planning application to demolish the Queensbury was lodged months ago and it's very clear just how unacceptable the proposals are. The developers are trying every trick in the book to convince locals but there is absolute resistance to having a tower block built over a popular pub, one that sits in a conservation area.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Expecting a developer to "play fair" is a lot to hope for, as I have found with Galliford Try (and their PR consultants, Remarkable Engagement)over the past 13 months on the Willesden Green Library Centre plans. But that does not mean that we should not expect fair play, or that we should be afraid to say so, and to point out in detail when they are using underhand tactics to try to undermine genuine opposition to unreasonable proposals.
Yes, there does need to be some development, to provide homes for people who need them and work for building and allied trades. Councils and prospective developers should be talking to people in local communities about how best this can be achieved, working with local people to agree solutions, rather than behind their backs to force something on them.
If local communities just keep quiet, and allow themselves to be walked over by property developers, then this will become the "accepted" way that things are done. By coming together and saying "this is not the right way to do things", there is a chance, over time, that developers will realise it is to their advantage not to provoke the sort of reaction that WGLC and The Queensbury have produced.
Good luck to the StQ group!
Philip Grant.