A packed hall at St. Mary’s Parish Rooms in Twickenham on Tuesday 25 Nov listened intently as Martin Stearman went through in detail explanation of the Twickenham Riverside Terrace Group’s submission to the cabinet of Richmond Council.
Mr Stearman showed the plans of scheme that received the planning consent, as already held by the Group. He took the audience through the phases of thinking about the Terrace, ending with drawings and illustrations of the intended public use of the site in the scheme that is now going forward to the Council.
Mark Boggia explained how the project would be viable and he presented the business plan. He said that the Terrace could be constructed in 15 months or over a period of a maximum of 5 years as funds became available. Rental income from the limited amount of cafe and bars now proposed would be sufficient to run and maintain the Terrace, with the the community organisations only needing to cover the running cost of the accommodation they occupied if they could not contribute anything more.
Council Officer Tom McKevitt was on hand during the meeting and gave the council’s position to date as far as he was able. The Terrace scheme will be considered, among others, at the Council Cabinet meeting on 10 December.
After a very interesting and informative discussion from the floor, the audience voted almost unanimously for the scheme as presented by the Group. Only three people voted against it, because they had some reservations, although they agreed in principle.
As the meeting closed, John Reekie, group chairman, explained how a charitable trust fund on behalf of the people was being formed with prominent local people as trustees. Over 30 people said that they’re prepared to make donations when the fund is set up and the council grants full planning and the ‘go ahead’ is given.
(Report by Ken Elmes)