Yesterday, I promised to cover pub protection policies in Brent, which are affected by proposed changes to planning policy. These have been subject to controversy as a result of Cllr Muhammed Butt's rather odd handling of the issue in relation to the Save Our Queensbury group.
This group were interested in blocking the redevelopment of the The Queensbury site close to Willesden Green station, which I also opposed. As part of this effort they argued for changes to planning policy, and said that Cllr Butt supported them. However, he does not appear to have done so in a public forum and they seem to have felt quite frustrated at his lack of communication.
The matter has now been covered in the changes to Brent's planning policies, although this reads more as a result of CAMRA's intervention. The policy now includes an assessment of economic viability, as well as the "vitality" of the area. It also seeks to protect the external fabric, which I imagine means something like the former Spotted Dog in Willesden High Road. It also enables the Committee to block change of use if a "credible" offer has been received for its continued use as a pub where it is listed as an asset of Community Value.
All this gives some additional protection to pubs, but nowhere should go away with the expectation that pubs cannot be converted under these rules.