We have won Round One but now we must win the campaign
Hundreds of you have objected to the Councils preferred Developer partner scheme of massive commercial development on Twickenham Riverside. The Secretary of State, Government Office for London heeded our arguments supported by all the local amenity groups and instructed the Council NOT to approve the Dawnay Day, the Councils preferred partner scheme without the Secretary of States permission. Despite the clear evidence of overwhelming public opposition they proceeded to approve the planning application subject to the Secretary of State’s decision.
It is understood that no decision will be announced until after the 2 May, the polling day for the Local Elections, and there may be further delay after this date. We must therefore keep up strong pressure.
* Firstly by asking every candidate in the elections whether they support the Councils Dawnay Day proposals or the alternative of retaining the historical site for mainly public use and then voting for those of every party who support our proposals.
To help this process we are writing to every candidate and asking them what is their position on this matter and we will notify you and the local papers and web sites of the results.
* Secondly we must press the Council to answer our questions on the so-called benefits. The questionable independence of the consultants paid by the Council to justify the Council’s own preferred partner scheme,and on the actual details of the lease contract offered to the developers and why the Council is selling a lease for £750,000 and paying for facilities of minimal use to the community when its commercial value is of the order of £11,000,000!
* Thirdly we must be ready to act whether the Secretary of State appoints an Inspector or approves the scheme. To this end The Twickenham Riverside Terrace Group who already hold the approved Planning Application for the alternative public use development, is developing an amended scheme which will provide more detail and respond to many local residents suggestions. We are also registering a charity; Twickenham Riverside Trust which we believe will be sponsored by well known local residents. This trust could undertake the improvements proposed to bring the site back into real public use.
* Finally we need donations .We raised £450 at our first meeting and this has been used for printing, postage etc.
We have joined forces with local amenity groups in opposing the Councils developers’ scheme. We now require your help to maintain the Campaign and to Contribute to the costs of professional assistance which will be vital to fight the combined forces of developer and Council.
There is an existing Terrace Garden scheme approved by the Council and the GOL in 2001 which the Council has refused to implement. This existing planning agreement for the Terrace Garden scheme enables at very little cost the improvement of the Twickenham Riverside as an open space accessible to all with splendid views and facilities from its terrace overlooking the river.
The terrace which will be formed at first floor level of the existing baths building is at the same level as the landscape around the existing pool behind. A similar area to the popular Richmond Riverside terrace but with a big difference: it is an open space where due to its unique layout events can take place.
The options for further community activities on the site are limitless
* The existing 50m long pool can be transformed into a terrace garden or amphitheatre with seating.
* The area can accommodate Ice skating.
* Concerts using its unique terraced amphitheatre.
* Open air theatrical events.
* Camera Obscura
* Cafe, restaurant.
* Pavilions for exhibitions ,markets, cafes along the rear access road and above the terrace.
* The existing pool building transformed by the creation of arched traditional boat house facade for the ground floor elevation
* Many other opportunities for local events
The cost is being independently assessed but the plan is to, keep the land in public ownership and thereby honour its original purchase condition. Carry out the necessary enabling work landscaping, limited demolition, retention of the traditional toilets, so that the buildings can be occupied and fitted out to meet the leaseholders requirements. In addition provide the necessary facilities for the use by the public and arts groups of the site.