To the Editor, Twickenham & Richmond Tribune
Summary of letter published 26 March 2021
Twickenham Riverside Consultation Jan/Feb 2021
The author of last week’s letter ‘Twickenham Riverside’ deserves applause for casting a critical eye over the Council’s consultation results and highlighting the tip of an iceberg.
The consultation held by Richmond Council had almost as many deficiencies as the Council’s proposals for Twickenham Riverside – and this is very worrying. This consultation was frankly a pretty worthless exercise:
- Consulting on incomplete proposals and designs, instead of the full consultation that was promised last November by the Director of Environment and Community Services,
- Mists and fog surrounding what was being proposed and the benefits of the proposals,
- Neglecting to actively seek feedback on the traffic proposals, parking and other vital questions,
- Predictably ambiguous and contradictory findings arising from the format of the questionnaire,
- Lack of a fundamental understanding of what the consultation was about
- And many errors in the analysis which resulted.
On 2 March 2021 Cllr Roberts stated publicly that the consultation team are “professional in their field”. However, the conduct of this consultation did not conform to the principles of good practice for public consultations – and it shows.
We were told (LBRuT press release, 18 March 2021) that the consultation results ‘will be used to inform design development as the Council and Design Team work towards a submission of a Planning Application’. However, the consultation process was not fit for purpose in the first place. Continuing down the path of producing further unsustainable designs for this very special spot on the Thames in Twickenham is entirely fruitless and it is not in the public interest.
We repeat our call for Richmond Council to pause in this senseless dash towards a premature planning application, prepare proposals that will deliver what they said they will deliver and table new plans and designs – in full – for public scrutiny and consultation. And pause now, before preparing any Planning Application.
We are still watching this space.
The Twickenham Coalition – ‘Love our town’