Thursday, 8 November 2018

Should there be 3 options for Willesden Green's Queensbury pub?

Queensbury development Option 1
Queensbury development Option 2
Should this (retention of present building) and 'build around it') be Option 3
On his way out of the St Gabriel's Hall consultation on the Queensbury development a resident said, 'They call it a consultation but it's not really much of a choice. The two options are very similar.'

As you can see the main difference is the roof, dormer windows and the shape of the bays- the actual layout inside is the same for both options.

Others  I spoke to thought the designs 'weren't terrible' but were typical modern buildings that are in no way a match for the character of what they are replacing.

When it comes to the pub there was little more than a floor plan and an artists's impression.(above) The function room  would be next to the bar and managed by the pub. Apparently Brent Council thought they did not have the resources to manage such a small unit as a community room. The function room would have its own outside area, making it suitable for children's activities such as Busy Rascals, and its own external entrance.

The developers argued that taking into account the bar, the function room, the outside area and the basements to both rooms, the total area was more than the present pub.

The developers said that a lease agreement has been made with the publican of the Queensbury although it wasn't clear to me whether this meant the publican supported the particular designs being exhibited for the site.

I was concerned that the plans showed the existence of 'poor doors' - separate entrances for private and social/affordable flats.  The developers argued that there was a common entrance from the street (top left) but I pointed out there were separate entrances once inside the development (in the plan top left, next to the blue line of the pub and on the right,  below the two green rectangles which represent outdoor space. They said this was necessary for the convenience of what will be two separate management companies/agencies.  The outdoor space will be communal.

Of the 48 flats 10 will be social rent and 5 affordable rent. The developers said the actual rent level was a matter for Brent Council or the agency letting on their behalf. Of the total number of flats 70% will be rented and 30% shared ownership. The developer said that 35% of all habitable rooms were at social /affordable rent. This is because of the 3 bedroomed social rent flats included in the scheme.

The Feedback form asked attendees for personal details (name. phone, address, email) and there were just 2 questions: 'How did you hear about this exhibition?'  and  'Which design option do you prefer?' plus space to say why you prefer the design option. If you missed the consultation you can still write or email:

 Initial reaction on Twitter was not very impressed by the design:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The "exhibition" was a shambles and the plans are identical to those thrown out. Two options presented, but failed to mention the third option which they are appealing to the government inspector which wasn't on show last night.

And no mention of the fourth option which is to retain the building and build around it, just as the police station are doing.

What planning exhibition takes place without the developer being present? They were nowhere to be seen.

By dressing up two options as the only ones on the table, saying that the council have asked them to choose, is misleading and wrong. Maybe this developer wants to maximise profit and demolish the building but there are others out there who could do much better things.