Twickenham Riverside Terrace Group

A riverside in trust for the community

Letter to supporters – changes to the UDP

To all our supporters their families and friends.

The Unitary Development Plan (UDP ) Revisions and their implementation by the Council.

Twickenham Riverside
We have campaigned long and hard for the restoration of Twickenham Riverside and the pool site as public open space. The reason for its purchase by the Council in 1924.
Recently the UDP Inspector made the following recommendations for the future of this site.

  1. The restoration of the requirement to provide public conveniences.
  2. More explicit emphasis on the provision of public open space as the predominant feature of any redevelopment scheme.
  3. The requirement that the planning brief for the redevelopment of the site indicate:
    1. The extent of the public open space to be provided, which should be immutable irrespective of the time scale of any proposals, and
    2. the characteristics of the Conservation Area which justify its designation and to which new development should have regard.

Despite these recommendations Richmond Council have decided to amend the Inspectors recommendations as follows:

For (1.) above, ‘The toilets are to be provided in association with other uses’, ie they will not be public but local shop or restaurant owned toilets. This proposal was made by the Council at the UDP Inquiry, but the Inspectors view then and our view now is that this is not a satisfactory arrangement.

For (2.) above, the term “Public open space” is replaced by “open space”. This means that the open space will not necessarily be for the public and will be provided at the discretion of the developer, it could for instance be private gardens for the residents. The Inspector reported “To my mind the public open space component of any scheme should be the baseline of the proposal and should condition the scale of balancing private development needed to implement it.”

For (3.) above, the Council say the planning brief will not indicate the precise area of open space. The words public and immutability are ignored. The Inspector reported, “It seems to me of prime importance that the planning brief should establish what part of the site should be public open space and that should be an identical requirement whatever the time scale”.

To summarise, for future development on this site Richmond Council proposes to change the term “public open space” to “open space” and the planning brief will not indicate the area of immutable open space.

These revisions have been advertised by the Council in the Richmond & Twickenham Times 25/6/04 and are now open to objection by writing to:

Helen Cornforth
Principal Planning Officer
Planning and Research Section
Department of Environment Planning and Review
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Civic Centre
44 York Street
Twickenham TW1 3BZ
Before 4pm Friday the 6 August 2004
email: h.cornforth @richmond.gov.uk

Copies to Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
Frances Blaber
Decision Officer,
Planning Central Casework Division Zone 3/J3
Eland House
Bressenden Place
London SW1E 5DU
Fax 020 7944 5929

Chris Bedford
Government Office for London
Riverwalk House
157-161 Millbank
London SW1P 4RR
Fax: 020 7217 3450 e-mail CBEDFORD.GOL@go-regions.gsi.gov.uk

We request that if you are concerned for the future of the Twickenham Pool site and wish to safeguard its predominant use as public open space please take a positive step in helping to protect this site from future over development.

You can write to the Council and make your views known. A suggested letter is appended and should be sent before the 6 August 04.

The acceptance by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Council’s 5 year scheme was made taking into account the recommendations of the UDP Inspector with regard to the future use of the site. It appears that the purpose of the Councils UDP changes are to make this site more acceptable to development by removing restrictions on its future use.

The Committee Twickenham Riverside Terrace Group.
Fighting for the restoration of the Twickenham Riverside pool land as public open space.

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