The latest Richmond Council proposals for the Riverside (Twickenham Rediscovered) suggest that the “community” component of the scheme will be satisfied by “ a ‘hub’ for the local community, spaces for enjoyment by all …additional public space at the top of Water Lane and further public space for community uses.
These proposals do not reflect the history or more recent community uses on the Pool site. The site was bought in 1924 for public use, the then existing Richmond House was used as a library and Council offices till he “new’ Swimming Pool opened in 1935
After the Pool closed in 1981 the buildings continued at various times to provide home to community-based activities, including the Riverside Play Group, and the charity, Help a Neighbour in Distress (HANDS). Both organisations paid rent to the Council for their accommodation
TRTG 2012 Application: The purpose of the 2012 Application was to show that the existing Pool Buildings, namely the old Restaurant and the Bath House (Caretaker’s House) could be renovated and provide extra space community space. Additionally, the extra space could be used by the DGJ Trust might for the benefit of the wider community. To provide income, our idea was that an extra floor might be added to the Restaurant building, this could provide meeting spaces, or “hot-desking” facilities for some of the charities or other bodies in the area that could not provide such spaces for themselves, but could contribute to costs.
The TRTG Application included real proposals for community use, not the rather strange confusion that the Richmond Council appears to have that any space that might be visited by a member of the public is “community use” i.e. a shop or restaurant!
Why Is Our Application Still Relevant? We still strongly believe that the renovation of the Pool Buildings is still a sensible, cost effective idea. It might not be the final or whole solution, but it could provide useful early, extra accommodation, for and managed by the community
It would allow and encourage an incremental improvement of the area for, an extension of the working river frontage for Twickenham.
The 2016 TRTG Proposals: A New Scheme: The reason we produced the 2016 proposals was because of the success by the public to get the Council to rethink the Riverside redevelopment had created an opportunity for other ideas to be considered.
The TRTG Alternative Scheme 2016, showed how the existing buildings could be part of a new development which widened Water Lane, created a modern, outward facing, welcoming development with a series of open spaces leading down to the River.
RAG Alternatives Exhibition:
This new Scheme was include in the 2016 RAG Alternatives Exhibition. However it now appears RAG is content with the Councils Option 1 or 2, but Twickenham surely deserves a better solution?