At this time when there are alternative proposals being offered for this site, TRTG wish to bring the public attention the simplicity and practicality of their original scheme.The Twickenham Riverside Terrace Group (TRTG) has fought long and hard to keep the Twickenham Open Air Pool Site as public open space. It is already terraced, it has splendid views over the River Thames.
It has a usable block of toilets at the foot of Water Lane a successful children’s playground and Café. It has existing usable buildings which can be renovated at a fraction of the cost of new.
The open space is already there, it requires clearing and planting. Open space that can be used by the community for Farmer /French Markets Open Air Art, skating, performance by theatre groups. Etc.
If it remains open space its potential is always there. Your Council will call it a brownfield site to excuse their indolence over the years while they have wooed developers in the hope of making a profit on its sale. The provision of open space for the whole site making use of the existing buildings bringing people and vitality to this River frontage is feasible and now with collective action within our grasp.
The time has come for community action by supporting us.
The open space, playground Café and toilets should occupy the present pool site. For under £1 million landscaping the remaining site and renovate the River Bank seating and planting is achievable. Your Council has spent of the order of £ 1/2 million each year for the past 3 years. on plans to develop this site. Let the River Centre have time to raise its own funds as originally planned the land will still be there when their plans and proposals are finalised.
This way we do not lose an important Riverside amenity to a developer. TRTG says let us show this Council that we are no longer dependant on their plans but wish to use the money they have put aside for their own plans in a different way an incremental step by step rehabilitation of the site. This will mean that there is no need for enabling development.
The Councils proposals
The Council plans major building of houses and flats 3 and 4 storey in height new roads and parking a public open space overlooked by the housing .as for the popular Children’s playground this will change its location to an area next to a River Museum Centre at the Water Lane end of the site. It appears to be 1/2 of its present area and will lose its Café. All these proposals are on view from the 13th Feb at York House. There will be a meeting on the 18th Feb at St Mary’s Church Hall Church Street at 7.30 sponsored by the Twickenham Society. Please make your views known.
Your Council holds this land in trust for the community. Land purchased by a caring Council in 1924 by means of a loan from the Ministry of Health for public walks and pleasure purposes. Your Council needs to honour this commitment and the importance today of open space, its conservation and the need to treasure our community resources. This generation and future generations will wish to know how such a usable public asset could lie unused for over 27 years. Remember the present playground, café and other landscape amenity built at a cost of £1.2 million were financed out of Council funds.