Our petition to keep in permanent public use the whole of the Twickenham Pool Site, and to keep beyond 2009 the newly built playground café and toilets, has gained many new supporters. The total now exceeds 3000.
River Centre and Public Open Space. The present facilities are now joined by the Council’s decision to go ahead with the River Centre, an activity and museum facility for all users and lovers of the River Thames. The Council’s leader has expressed his support for this and the provision and importance of public open space in accordance with the recommendations of the UDP Inspector at the inquiry in 2005. The Council has repeatedly made it clear that this would be an important element of any scheme.
Development brief. We also understand that the development brief for the Twickenham Pool Site is now being prepared by the Council’s Environment Department Officers and full public consultation has been promised by the Council’s leader and your local MP. The local community groups including TRTG have met at the invitation of the Council and joined forces to cooperate and help steer the Council on this brief.
TRTG are of the opinion that a River Centre, playground, café, toilets and open space will occupy the majority of the present pool site. Previous schemes have had to rely on land not owned by the Council in order to provide a large enough plot for their grandiose proposals. It appears that recent political history may well have led to a more sensible attitude and the realisation that the Council holds the poolsite land in trust for the community and therefore must pay attention to what the community wants and implement this. There is also the changing attitude to conservation and the need to treasure our community resources. Future generations will wish to know how such a usable public asset could lie derelict for over 26 years. Remember the present playground, café and other landscape amenity were financed out of Council funds.
If you care about the future of Twickenham Pool site and wish for permanent public use of the whole site, including public open space, a children’s play area, toilets and a café we ask you to assist us in this aim by writing to the present Council at p.Chadwick@richmond.gov.uk .
By doing this you are helping to ensure that any plans for the site are fully and openly discussed. Remember that in 1924 a community minded Council took the decision to purchase this riverside area of Twickenham for public walks and pleasure purposes. It is our duty as residents to keep this pool site public open space use inviolate. There are good reasons to hold such events as the Farmers’ and French Markets on this site. We have new ideas and proposals and are willing to discuss these with the Council.
It is important to remember that the present facilities, comprising the existing playground and café with toilets, has planning permission only until June 2009. Therefore, unless the Council takes action and residents of Twickenham make it clear to the Council that they wish otherwise, the present facilities could be removed for ever.