The Independent London Newspaper
21st February 2017

Primrose Hill pub development: 'Building a house in a pub garden is wrong,' says TV star Matthew Wright

    Matthew Wright is angry about proposals for the Albert pub

    Published: 4 June, 2014

    TV presenter Matthew Wright has appealed to Camden Council to block plans to build a house in the beer garden of a Primrose Hill pub. 

    Developers have confirmed they are working on proposals to build a house in the garden of The Albert pub in Princess Road.

    A spokesman for a company working on the project said: “The pub will still retain around half of its garden. England rains most of the time so I don’t think it matters if the garden is halved.”

    In April, developers Springcroft Construction applied to build three flats on the pub’s roof, a request which has already been approved. 

    Regulars now say the pub must be saved from further development by being listed as an “asset of community value” which would give it added protection.

    Mr Wright, who presents Channel Five show The Wright Stuff, has lived in the area for 12 years and regularly drinks in The Albert.

    “They are saying the garden shouldn’t be there because the weather is rainy. In that case, why don’t we just get rid of Lord’s cricket ground, because lots of the games are cancelled due to the rain after all? I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous,” he said. “If that is the only argument he can present, then when this goes to the planning committee the council should chuck away this application at the earliest opportunity.”

    Mr Wright said he had written to the council on more than 20 occasions on the issue of businesses suffering due to residential conversions. 

    Phil Cowan, who is spearheading plans to get the pub listed, said: “We know what will happen next – if the garden goes the business will no longer be viable. Then the developers will say the business was not successful and use it as an excuse to turn the whole thing into residential. This is the last traditional pub in Primrose Hill where ordinary people can go.”

    The developers spokesman said: “I knew there would be objections to this. I am a businessman, I’m used to objections. It’s very nice for people to fight this, but someone needs to pay the pub’s bills. I want to excavate the basement so the pub has a function room, it will also be left with a smaller garden. But if it’s not viable in the end, then it’s not viable, then it can’t run any more.”


    Hey speak and spell boy...

    Why ya knokking the astute, bounteous, philanthrope that is Plil Cowen. He's kind, well informed, resourceful and smart. 

    Back to the issue ?

    I'm genuinely astonished and disappointed that some people have chosen to use the important issue of saving the Albert pub to personally attack me.
    The local papers are an important platform for raising awareness on subjects that affect our community. It is true that my name crops up in them as a result of trying to get issues on the agenda.
    However, I have been involved in multiple high profile campaigns over the years during which my name has never been mentioned in the press.
    The issues are and always will be what matter.
    Please could we get back to this one?
    The energy being used to make cowardly, anonymous and unpleasant attacks on me would be much better employed to help fight the campaign to keep the Albert open!
    Phil Cowan.

    The commentator

    The commentator dose more than what you know or do without patting on your own back!!!! The man in question never sat in the Albert pub or in any other pub in Primrose Hill, the man is just a "Wona be' ! We are supporting the Albert for over 20 years and we are fighting for it, just for your knowledge!!!

    Don't just sit there ...

    It would be nice if the commentator who would like to keep the Albert 'as it is' actually got off his or her backside and tried to help do just that - instead of small mindedly criticising Phil Cowan. It's too easy to indulge in petty keyboard sneering, but far harder to do what Mr Cowan does - which is devote time to local issues and the concerns of local residents.

    For the wrong reason

    I am for keeping the lovely Albert pub as is, but the so called self appointed campaigner who answers to the name Phil Cowan who is always objecting to any thing good or bad in Primrose hill, just for his name to be in the paper, and lately he tried his luck as a politician without any success in the last elections…all this is FOR THE WORNG REASON ! I appreciate media and genuine residents care about whats going on in our neighbourhood as iI do but to have this name on very article publish for his personal objectives I am afraid he should keep his long nose in the right place!!

    You're completely wrong about

    You're completely wrong about Phil, actually. I have come to know him over HS2 is recent months and I have to say I think he is a really decent, honourable man, genuinely trying to do his best for the village he loves. He hasn't got a political agenda. He's not paid. He is in nobody's pocket. You are quite wrong to sneer, whoever you are; we are really lucky to have people like Phil in our neighbourhood.

    For the wrong reason... really?

    Careful, your jealousy is showing.....
    This community should be thankful that Mr Cowan, as a "genuine resident" and others like him have a social conscience and act on it from a desire to sustain and improve this area unlike some others who merely carp from the sidelines. I'd rather support a tryer, albeit unsuccessful, than yet another idle complainer.
    Keeping the Albert pub from the predations of yet another ill-advised and greedy "developer" is an important principle. Sign up to it.

    You sound like another friend

    You sound like another friend of Mr Cowan or rather Mr. Cowan himself, as we all know he doesn't have many who support him apart of his close friends and family to have a career of some sort !!! Good luck to you all for trying but the wrong reasons show clearly!!!!

    Don't be mistaken we are too for The Albert to stay as it is and its not for the WRONG REASONS, WE ARE NOT DESPERATE OF HAVING OUR NAMES IN THE LOCALE PAPPER!!!! WE ARE DOING IT QUETLY AND GENUINELY !!!

    Can't agree more….

    I can't agree with this more as Mr. Cowan becoming a jock around the neighbourhood. Residents who care just write to the council and make it professionally! The papers is just for the reporter and the one wants to have his name printed! There in a print house down the road in Parkway that can help…kick that habit Mr. Cowan!!!!

    When replying to your own

    When replying to your own comments by pretending to be someone else, it's always wise to try and change your writing style. Your idiosyncratic spelling, interesting use of grammar and over reliance on multiple exclamation marks rather gives you away.

    Only fouls and….

    Keep your opinions safe…only fouls express them.

    Buyer Beware

    Yet another developer steams into a community intent on mining it's assets and leaving behind a bland sterilised "dormitory town" scenario that benefits no-one but themselves.
    People find it far from "nice" to fight off this onslaught but they do know how to do battle if required.
    The combined forces of residents, councillors and local organisations can create a formidable force to be reckoned with.
    So far the developer's arguments are looking pretty weak....shall we talk about the weather!

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