16 February 2016
RIVERSIDE ACTION GROUP
TWICKENHAM RESIDENTS’ GROUP CALLS FOR TOWN SQUARE CONSULTATION TO BE RE-OPENED
The Riverside Action Group has this week written to Richmond Council proposing that the consultation on the town square development be re-opened to ensure real involvement by residents and transparency in the process.
Noting the unenthusiastic public response to the proposals presented by the Council drawn up by the Terry practice the Group has called for the Council to:
– Take the current plan off the table in order to find a solution acceptable for Twickenham by means of an open process;
– Make public the original brief and if this was not consistent with residents’ original wishes, work with them to develop a brief incorporating their desires , focused on the outcomes of the Barefoot Consultation (a town square with public space and an open view to the river from King Street);
– Take account of needs of local businesses and residents including those on Eel Pie Island, Church Street and King Street;
– Publish the other schemes submitted which were paid for from Council tax funds;
– Organise an open competition run by an Independent Commission within a time-limited process possibly using the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) competition process to ensure transparency.
Ben Makins of Riverside Action Group said:
“We recognise that residents want to see something on this site and that many people just want something done, but we argue that if this will be our new town centre, we must get it right.
We also recognise the progress the Council has made in regenerating the embankment and creating Jubilee Gardens, demonstrating its wish to find a solution for this site.
However, pushing forward the current scheme at all costs is losing the support of local people.
The Council-held consultation in 2010 clearly communicated that they want a view to the river and a town square. The current proposal delivers nothing of this.
We have no information on the cost/benefit analysis undertaken on the proposed retail and residential units, and indeed no information on who would run or own the development.
We are a group of concerned local residents, seeking input and support from local stakeholders. It is vitally important that the future centre of our town stops being a political football. We are keen to work with the Council and support a fully transparent and independently run competition for the development, and have written to them this week offering our cooperation.”
Notes to editors
– Riverside Action Group is a non-aligned group of concerned residents providing an overarching group for the residents and other stakeholders (including businesses and heritage) of Twickenham who oppose the single option approach to development of Twickenham town centre and riverside to come together, and is interested in hearing from other groups or individuals who wish to contribute views.
– The group continues to collect signatures to a petition set up at the start of February calling for the consultation to be re-opened. www.riversideactiongroup.uk