The Council is pursuing its own plans for the Riverside. Despite letters of support and packed meetings for the Twickenham Riverside Terrace Garden Scheme which already has planning permission your Council is determined to scupper it. The Council through its advisors is applying for permission to demolish the main changing room building fronting the River and in its place landscaping a walkway and providing two benches for the use of the public.
On a strip of land adjoining Wharf Lane a children’s playground will be constructed. There will be a new security fence to the remaining site in order to keep the public out.. Cost £480,000. plus maintenance costs at present £50,000 per year. for 5 years. Only 1/4 of the total site will be open to the public.
Full information is not available for what is proposed to build on this site after demolition. (This level of information is required in a Conservation Area) THE PUBLIC ARE NOT BEING TOLD WHAT THE COUNCIL REALLY INTEND. The current proposals have a 5 year duration only and will then be destroyed.
The site was until closed by the previous Tory Council in public use. It should be returned to public use and should not be redeveloped for housing with only limited public benefit.
The existing buildings could be retained and used by the Community Organisations have been identified who wish to use them. At present only one building is used by a Community Welfare Organisation.
Renovation of an existing building is more cost effective than rebuilding. A community based proposal to landscape the site and retain some of the buildings for river related and community uses already has approval.
This scheme is expensive for what is proposed and is said to be short term, resulting in uncertainty and repeated disturbance at some point in the future.
The Council’s proposals relate to only 1/4 of the site. 3/4 of the site will be fenced of and a repository for fly tipping as at present and is planned to remain like this until redevelopment is achieved at some point in the future.
There are no details of the precise protection for existing mature trees.
There has been no official ecological survey to establish the known presence of protected species plants and wildlife. The community undertook such a survey which the Council has ignored.
There are no river related activities as required by the UDP planning brief for this site.
The Public Toilets will be removed.
The surrounding sites are owned by developers keen to rebuild and improve the area. Why are the Council not urgently in discussion with them to redevelop these vacant and run-down sites in order that the pool site returns to public use?
If any reader has any concerns and objections to what is proposed please let the Council and The Government Office for London (GOL) know.
The Council can only carry out demolition in a Conservation area if they have the permission of the GOL. This site is in a Conservation area.
Public consultation on the proposals are limited to that applicable under planning law. There will be no other public consultation!
For your objections to the Council (and copy to the GOL) please refer to applications numbers 03/1142/CAC and 03/1141/FUL.
The addresses are: LBRuT Planning Department
Secretary of State
Government Office of London
Planning Casework North, South &West
9th Floor Riverwalk House
London SW1 P 4RR.
Chairman Twickenham Riverside Terrace Garden Committee