Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Mapesbury Residents' Association oppose developer's plans for the Queensbury pub

Residents making representations to the Planning Committee on the first Queensbury applicationMarch 2014
There is still time to comment on the developer's two (hardly) different plans for the Queensbury post. These are the links: 18/4675 and 18/4701

There are 26 submisisons on 18/4675 and 37 on 18/4701. All object to the plans. Some comments accuse the developer of being 'underhand' or 'devious' while others give very detailed objections.

Mapesbury Residents' Association submitted the following objection:

This objection is on behalf of the Mapesbury Residents’ Association Planning and Conservation Sub-Committee. We regret that this is after the 21 days deadline but understand that Brent Planning are willing to consider comments before their report to Planning Committee is finalised.

We wish to object for the following reasons:

1. The proposed new building is too tall and too bulky and would detract from the appearance of the area and does not preserve or enhance existing conservation area. The existing building makes a positive contribution to the setting of the listed station, which according to the previous Appeal inspector, would be desirable to preserve. The Planning Authority ought to respect that view and act consistently with it. The existing building also makes a positive contribution to the historic interest of the area.

- The applications are described as 4 and in part 5 storeys; however, both schemes are 6 storeys visible height across the frontage with 5 storeys behind. This is a misrepresentation by the Developer. In addition, each floor is taller than those of no 112 next door and the roof level would therefore be 1.5 storeys higher than the 5 storeys on no 112.

- There is no attempt to harmonise the building with no 112. It does not carry across the basic simple flat front wall with rectangular balconies of 112. Instead there are prominent bays forming a modelled front, stepping in and out. This draws attention to the bulk of the new building. The proposed horizontal banding for the brickwork between the bays and balconies is whimsical and unnecessary. The proposed design is a hotchpotch of irregular shaped bays and balconies that also results in lost floor space in the bedrooms.

- The vertical line style of shading at the roof level implies a lot of metal or timber cladding. Metal cladding is for industrial sheds and timber cladding has no feel of permanence and quickly deteriorates in appearance.

- The bedrooms within each flat are too long and narrow and do not provide adequate accommodation. The bedrooms with bay windows are a poor shape with useless area.

2. There are fundamental faults with the layout of the current ground floor layout plan:

- There is no sound proofing between the community room and the pub and between the pub, community room and the flats above. Noisy exercise classes and music / dance / singing / drama etc. activities will interfere with the pub. The floor over the Function / Community room and the pub need to be sound proofed to avoid disturbance of the flats above.

- The bins are in two locations, one of which is on the front of the building and inconveniently accessible for all users.

- The main entrance to the flats is a constricted passage next to the bin store.

- The combination of bin store at the front and narrow entrance make the front aspect of the building very unattractive and out of kilter with the adjoining buildings.

3. The ground floor spaces for the public house and function / community room are not well proportioned for their intended uses:

- The area of the proposed Function / Community Room is too small. It is only 81 sq. metres (ignoring the entrance corridor). This represents only 1.6% of the total floor area. To be useful twice this would be necessary for the activities that are normally provided by a Function / Community room,

- The Function / Community room is a poor layout and badly located; tucked around the corner behind the retained shops past a narrow gap next to the shops. The entrance is in an insecure place, especially at night and is next to the bin store.

- The size of the Function / Community room is not of sufficient value in relation to the value of the planning permission being sought.

- The floor plan of the pub is too long and narrow,

- The replacement pub has neither a kitchen nor ventilation in the proposed plan which will severely limit its menu.

- The poor floor plan and absence of a kitchen must impact upon its popularity with residents. It would be a completely inadequate replacement for the existing pub and brings into question the viability of the proposal for this space as a replacement for a popular and important local amenity.

4. The ownership, maintenance and management of the Function / Community Room are not defined. The tenure should be in-perpetuity so that the benefit of the land and its associated frontage onto Walm Lane is carried forward if the associated / adjoining owners of the Pub get into financial difficulties. Points that need establishing in the contract include:

- What will be the legal status of the Function / Community room, who will own the ground on which the room sits?

- Who or what organisation will own the space, how will the public / local residents’ ownership and rights be defined?

- Who or what organisation will manage the room and its use?

- How will the structural envelope of the room be maintained?

- How will access to the toilet facilities and basement and kitchens shared with the Pub be defined, maintained and delivered in-perpetuity?

- How will access to the toilet facilities and basement and kitchens?

5. This third proposal is essentially the same as the second proposal which was refused permission last year and the fact that that application is now subject to appeal should not be considered as a relevant factor. Permission for this proposal should also be refused.

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