During the past week, the Friends of Twickenham Riverside has been keeping a close eye on the proposals put forward for the future of the Pool site in the Twickenham Area Action Plan.
The Plan was presented as an exhibition/consultation at The Civic Centre on June 11, and there was a follow-up session with the consultants on June 16.
Three scenarios were presented, covering the whole of ‘Twickenham Town Centre’. For those who were not able to attend, we summarize below the key points in the proposals for Riverside.
It is important to appreciate that these proposals for Riverside can be considered in isolation from proposals for other parts of the town.
Descriptions of the scenarios are taken verbatim from the leaflet.
Scenario 1 (“Consolidation”):
new public open space/piazza with children’s play area, and replacement or reuse of existing buildings for community use or café/restaurant. Relocation of market.
Scenario 2 (“Enhancement”):
mixed use of Santander block and adjacent Water Lane frontage to include specialist retail/cafés and possible small cinema/residential above and civic space. Creation of public/space/piazza on riverside with potential for relocation of market and outdoor performances and events.
Scenario 3 (“Transformation”):
comprehensive approach to incorporate Santander building, parts of rear of King St frontage and service road and improve links between King St and Riverside. Possible uses to include retail/cafés/residential, civic space, public open space, piazza and performance space. Relocation of parking from Embankment to improve riverside environment. Refurbishment of King St frontage to create improved retail environment.
#1 opens up the whole site. The proposal closely resembles the TRTG plan that has received planning permission (09/0914).
#2 and 3 both depend upon the Council getting control of the Santander building and carpark. This is bound to take both time and money. Some building will be involved. What does “civic space” mean? Council offices? These are much longer term proposals – possibly 10 – 20 years. #3 also appears to involve felling the mature, protected hornbeams by the service road.
All three scenarios as they appear in the Exhibition involve closure of Water Lane to traffic: eg in #1 “Closure of Water Lane to turning traffic from King St, in both directions, to allow footway changes to create an improved pedestrian link to the Thames riverside”. What affect will this have on Eel Pie Island and those living on The Embankment?