QPARA and The Corrib – where we are now

Residents may be aware that QPARA’s position on the redevelopment of the Corrib Rest on Salusbury Road has become a matter of concern, including on social media. 

As the new chair of QPARA I think it will be helpful to provide the following brief account of developments and negotiations since The Corrib changed hands two years ago.

The latest position will be reported to our next monthly meeting on 9th February. All will be welcome to express concerns or ask questions.

Virginia Brand

QPARA – Chair

Since pub operators Greencoats sold the Corrib Rest to property developer Ashcross in early 2015 QPARA has been at the forefront of efforts to ensure that a viable pub and community room continue on the premises and that neighbouring residents are protected from any noise and nuisance arising.
 
In particular we applied to Brent for the pub to be given ACV (Asset of Community Value) status. We were successful in spite of having to take on Ashcross’ high-powered lawyers. Without this it is highly likely that Ashcross would have applied for planning permission to turn the whole building into flats.
 
We opposed the original planning application made in late 2015 mainly on the grounds that the proposed community room was too small, though there were other problems too. Nevertheless at their first hearing in February 2016  the Planning Committee were minded to approve. Due to poor communications from Brent  QPARA were not present on this occasion. We made a big fuss, enlisted councillor support, spent a considerable amount of our funds on top legal advice and went in force to the second hearing in April when the Committee turned down the application decisively.
 
In June/July Iceni, agents for Ashcross, approached us declaring a wish to co-operate and listen to our concerns before re-formulating a fresh application. Since then we have had a number of meetings with them as well as extensive correspondence. We have considered substantially revised physical plans and draft documentation in detail, spending many hours on this process. 
 
The Corrib Sub-Group made recommendations to the December 2016 and January 2017 QPARA monthly meetings and these were adopted after careful debate and by a substantial majority. They are based on documents we have seen as sent to Brent’s planners. They are currently being validated and until they are published QPARA does not plan to formalise its comments – not least in case anything changes. In principle we are intending to welcome changes in the community provision and protection for local residents that have been made in response to our representations but we are not supporting or opposing the development as a whole. As of 26 January there remains one substantial point of disagreement between QPARA and Ashcross. More details are available to members in the December and January monthly meeting minutes.
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