16th February 2016
Dear Cllr Fleming and LBRUT Councillors
We are writing as a group of concerned local residents, dismayed at the single option approach to the development of Twickenham town centre and riverside. We feel strongly that any plan or design will fail to achieve the support of the local community unless the process is run with transparency in choice of project and financial viability. We do not believe this needs to cause significant delay if managed collaboratively with community groups, and it would show that the views of the community matter to the Council.
Nearly 1,000 people signed petitions from Eel Pie Island residents and businesses opposing the Quinlan Terry design. In just two weeks, we have collected nearly 300 signatures calling for the re-opening of the consultation with reference to the original Barefoot Consultation. While plans to reinstate a lido were not part of this original consultation we feel the support the lido has achieved should be given equal status with all other suggestions.
We would like to offer our support in taking the project forward to the satisfaction of all residents and stakeholders in Twickenham. We propose that the Council:
– Takes the current plan off the table in order to find a solution acceptable to a majority of residents by means of due process;
– Makes public the original brief and if this was not consistent with residents’ original wishes, develop a brief incorporating real desires of the public, focused on the outcomes of the Barefoot Consultation (a town square with public space and an open view to the river from King Street), and to take account of needs of businesses and residents of Eel Pie Island and the Hands charity as well as Church Street and King Street;
– Run the competition through the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) competition process to ensure transparency
– Organises a properly organised competition run by an Independent Commission within a time-limited process;
– All and any project must be costed by an independent assessor and the results made public.
Chairman, on behalf of Riverside Action Group
CC Richmond and Twickenham Times