At its first meeting of 2005 the Twickenham Riverside Terrace Group (TRTG) passed a resolution to carry on its campaign to restore the Twickenham Riverside open-air pool site to public open space.
You should be aware that the recently commenced landscape work on the pool site, only covers approximately a quarter of the site, yet is costing over £750,000 and will only stay until 2009. The present Council has plans for its removal, lock stock barrel and climbing frame, in June 2009 to make way for an as yet undefined long term development advertised on the Council’s site hoarding notice.
The Council’s future plans are not known, but these plans will affect the whole pool site including the usable but closed toilets in Water Lane together with other Council owned land currently listed as up for sale in Water Lane & Bell Lane.
The questions that residents of the Borough would like an answer to are, what are the long term plans for this site and how can the expenditure of such a large sum of money be justified for such a short lived meager benefit?
The TRTG therefore give notice that the permanent restoration of public open space in accordance with the Unitary Development Plan Inspectors recommendation for the whole of the pool site is still the campaign objective of the TRTG and we shall continue to fight to restore this open space to the local community.
Your Support is a Key Factor
The support of some of the recipients of this email news has been invaluable in getting the forthcoming temporary partial use of the site as public open space.
Together, we have shamed the Council into activity after over 20 years of neglect.
Your continued support is essential if you wish to thwart future plans for any commercial profit-making development of this public open space amenity. Previous development schemes by different administrations have come to grief because the Council was deaf to public opinion. And your continued support is vital in order to carry on the fight to restore public open space to the whole of the Twickenham Open-air Pool site in accordance with its purchase in 1924 for “public walks and pleasure purposes”.
There is no reason why the current expenditure of £750,000 should not be utilised for all time. Once created, the community facility can be improved and enlarged to include the whole site. The existing public toilets can be renovated, modernized, and possibly enlarged. The TRTG original concept of a terrace garden overlooking the river is still achievable with the knowledge and expertise at the Group’s disposal.
With the will and the vision, the possibilities for this beautiful location as a public open space amenity for Twickenham residents, their children and visitors, can be realized without spending millions or giving it to developers.
Remember, the Council holds this land in trust for the community and the Councillors are your elected representatives. With sustained pressure from our Group, they can be made to heed public opinion and understand and implement the vision we have demonstrated for this unique riverside site.
If the Council had said to the TRTG, “here is £750,000” we could have created a unique facility for all and removed the site from predatory development to create a destination on the Embankment that would increase enjoyment and encourage the recreational use of the River Thames.
The TRTG has carried out its campaign, planning applications and schemes entirely by public donations from residents. And the fight is ongoing.