The Council’s unveiling of Broadway Malyan’s three scenario / plans for Twickenham Riverside were not presented with enough detail. TRTG believe the community needs additional information to make informed and considered comments on the proposals.
It is evident that Riverside Scenario 1 for land owned by the Council can be rapidly implemented. For the alternative scenarios more information is required as to the detail and implications of the proposals, time scale for their implementation, their cost, and an indication of the willingness of land owners to bring forward sites for development in order that a balanced judgement can be made by the public.
With regard to the proposals for Twickenham Riverside , it is our understanding is that anyone voting for Scenario 2 gets the benefits of 1 and voting for 3 includes the benefits of both 1 & 2. Therefore whichever you vote for you either get Scenario 1 or Scenario 1 + the claimed benefit of changes to sites not within the Councils ownership. However it is stated in the document Twickenham Area Action Plan which the options questionaire refers to that:
“Development of key sites not within the Councils ownership are dependent upon owners bringing their sites forward for redevelopment. The Council can use its planning powers to influence land owners to realise the aims of the Action Plan but these may be medium to longer term.”
TRTG’s Ron Chappell contacted the Council and received the following prompt responses to his questions regarding these issues.
RC What length of time will be needed for the Council to use its planning powers to influence land owners medium to longer term?
LBRuT: This will vary on a case by case basis, for example, in relation to the Royal Mail site which is currently being marketed the Council will have an immediate opportunity to influence the selected developers approach, where sites are not subject to development proposals any influence may be longer term.
RC: Your definition of medium and long term?
LBRuT: These are not specifically defined but my own interpretation would be that medium term would be 5-10 years, and long term 10-20 years. But any categorisation of what can be done short, medium and longer term can only be indicative.
RC: Have the respective land owners, for the proposals set out for 2 & 3, agreed to bring their sites forward for development and or demolition?
LBRuT: Most of the key owners i.e. Council, Royal mail, Network Rail, Regal House are likely to bring forward development proposals, but their intentions will be clarified through this consultation.
RC: Does the Council plan to use its planning powers to influence land owners to enable the execution of Scenarios 2 & 3?
LBRuT: Yes, the Council will certainly be using its planning powers.
RC: In order to make a sensible judgement of the scenarios 1 to 3 the anticipated cost of each should be provided and an idea of the time scale needed to realise each of these alternative scenarios.
LBRuT: When we have more understanding of the views of the community it will be necessary to undertake further detailed feasibility work including consideration of potential costs.
RC: It is noted that changes to traffic, road closures and new building are included. Can you clarify what consultation has been carried out with TfL local residents and businesses in King Street, Church street, and Eel Pie Island regarding these matters?
LBRuT: There have been informal discussions with such as TfL and some landowners, but this is the opportunity for statutory bodies, landowner, residents and businesses to engage formally in the process.
Conclusions: What is not clearly explained in the Councils Options Document is the cost and funding implications of the alternative scenarios. That for each of the scenarios involving key sites not within the councils ownership there is a time span for implementation of 5 to 20 years after adoption of the TAAP in late 2012.
This will affect Scenarios 2 & 3 for the Riverside. The Riverside has suffered from 30 years of neglect and expenditure on over ambitious development proposals. This is the reason why TRTG are proceeding with their approved planning application 09/0914/FUL for the incremental realisation of Option 1, in the TAAP. A realisable environmentally sound, community involving scheme that has already returned 40% of the pool site to the community for activity and leisure..