Labour Councillor Jenny Churchill has slammed Richmond Council’s plans for Twickenham riverside, saying it was a lost opportunity to make a real difference to the riverside development.
‘This was an opportunity to listen to the residents who were demanding that the riverside is opened up for social use, that traffic is reduced and that any housing developments are both low key and take in the needs of social housing. None of these demand have been addressed, even though many of these proposals were adopted by the council in 2013, when they endorsed the Twickenham Area Action Plan”
“The new Plans fail to achieve the most important outcomes for this site and prejudice the future improvement of the embankment area. I believe this site deserves a better, more imaginative, scheme that priorities people over cars and property investors”
The proposals in “Twickenham Rediscovered “ fail to address a number of issues, including:
- The decision to build across the access/service road at the rear of King Street is both unacceptable and contrary to long established planning policy for the site. The objective should be to remove traffic and parking from the embankment to create open space by the river for pedestrians.
- The proposal is incompatible with supposed “key objective” of established planning policy, to reduce traffic and parking in the area.
- The proposal clearly fails to keep within the planning policy aim of complimenting the existing riverside developments the proposed new development will tower over the existing (affordable) homes on Water Lane.
- The proposal fails to take the opportunity to look at the wider site as a whole, including the Diamond Jubilee Gardens, the playground and, critically, the embankment area to get the best overall redevelopment for Twickenham.
- It fails to take the opportunity to relocate parking away from the embankment to the rear of the site or under-ground, a move that has widespread public support.
- The proposal ignores the Twickenham Action Plan which stated that any redevelopment of this site should include provision for river-related facilities or activities to attract visitors to the riverside, including the provision of a new landing pontoon for river boats or boat hire facilities.
- The proposal includes 39 residential apartments (18 x 1-bed, 19 x 2-beds & 2 x 3-beds). There is no indication as to how many, if any, of these flats will be affordable or social housing and it must therefore be assumed that they will be predominantly luxury unaffordable real-estate likely to be attractive to property investors as part of their asset portfolio rather than as homes for those that need them.