As the Dawnay Day scheme may now be “called in” by the Secretary of State, the Terrace Garden Group, in consultation with the Co-ordination Group representing the wide range of interested groups and societies who object to the decision of the Council to approve the Dawnay Day scheme, we have decided to review and update the Alternative Scheme for a public garden.
We have concentrated on reducing the initial capital cost of bringing the old Swimming Baths site back into public use.
By this method an opportunity for public and private investment can be created within a framework that can accommodate many of the ideas put forward during the consultation and working group sessions prior to the Dawnay Day scheme being submitted for Planning approval.
Ideas and Vision
The basic concept remains that of providing a landscaped terrace garden, that is accessible and safe for public use, but also provides serviced (water /electricity) locations for cafe, bar or shopping or other activities to operate from the site in a temporary or flexible way.
We have endeavoured to retain the essential elements of the Pool site that make it unique. New views and vistas of the Thames and Twickenham Riverside will be revealed when the existing first floor parts of the Old Baths Building are removed and remodelled to provide the Terrace. The existing functional toilets are retained, as are the existing Bath House and Pool Restaurant buildings, so that incoming café or bar operators can renovate them.
The pool itself can either be filled to provide a paved and grass area, or only partially filled with the material removed from the pool buildings, or even dredged from the river, to form a sunken garden that with limited additional investment could become an open air auditorium.
The ideas illustrated also show how the area at the end of Water Lane could be paved to make the area more pedestrian friendly.
Ease of public access is essential from all directions. New steps and ramps are provided as part of the general repair works to the retaining walls and other structures around the site.
Cost and Funding
This revised approach is based on a minimum-cost enabling works contract that prepares the site for future activities which will be offered reduced rentals on the basis of the incoming operator investing in temporary facilities, be they tents or lightweight structures.
Details of the costings and potential income are being worked on, but the initial capital cost of the demolition and construction works can be reduced to significantly less than half the previous estimate. We believe this could make the scheme viable provided the site remains in public or charitable ownership.
Other parts of the scheme could be achieved by sponsorship, lottery type funding or by organisations with there own funds but needing a location for their accommodation needs.