Why does The Twickenham Coalition get involved?
Short answer: We want the best for Twickenham and we hold Richmond Council to account, to deliver what they said they will deliver in the Twickenham Riverside development. Quite simply, they haven’t.
The Coalition’s aim is to revitalise our unique and very special riverside, to strengthen the local economy, provide a magnet for visitors to the town and create a thriving community for people who live and work in Twickenham.
Long answer: Well, you’ll find the reasons here, the ‘top ten flaws’ in the Council’s published proposals –
1) Richmond Council’s published designs included four-storey and five-storey buildings that will dominate the site and surrounding properties. This is contrary to what they promised they would deliver, but the Council have stated they will present them for planning consent anyway.
2) Their plans include two-way traffic on both roads leading down to the river, flanked by very tall buildings, obstructing the promised views and physical connections between King Street and the Thames.
3) The Council’s plans ignore the central requirement to deliver a town square as the focal point for Twickenham, a prominent meeting place where people can socialise, join in occasional events, see an exhibition or visit a craft market.
4) The parking proposals show they did not understand the essential needs of the boatyards, the sailing and rowing clubs on Eel Pie Island or the residents and the other businesses in central Twickenham.
5) There is insufficient parking available in Twickenham to cope with demand created by removing 82 parking spaces from The Embankment and adjacent streets, so it is irrational to bring the parking changes in all at once, causing traffic congestion and air pollution in the town centre.
6) The Council’s parking proposals did not take account of people who would not find a parking space, drive away and shop elsewhere and the risks this poses to the futures of Twickenham’s local shops, bars, cafés and restaurants, including those in Church Street.
7) Their published proposals missed out the actual plans to secure the future of the Diamond Jubilee Gardens within the Riverside site. Instead they announced they will take powers for Compulsory Purchase in June 2021 if the Trustees of the Gardens do not decide to voluntarily hand their land over.
8) The Director of Environment promised a full consultation but the Council published only part of their proposals for the Twickenham Riverside development.
9) The Council have gone ahead with piecemeal traffic and parking proposals around the riverside and town centre without having a traffic and parking policy for Twickenham.
10) Their consultation did not conform to the standards for public consultations, it was a mess, completely unfit for purpose and a waste of their time and our money.
This point about the consultation is important because the consultation survey has produced vague and incomplete results and the Council said they are using those results to develop the designs for their planning application. Our Councillors must think again and start acting in the public interest, in the best interests of Twickenham.
In a nutshell, Twickenham deserves better than this and The Twickenham Coalition aims to see that Richmond Council deliver it.
The Twickenham Coalition
‘Love our town’