Twickenham Riverside Development
Twickenham poolsite


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28 Dec 2011: New for the poolsite - the Diamond Jubilee Gardens

The council's plans to open up a large section of the poolsite include a grassed area and a paved public square and keeping the children's play area where it is. There would be a new feature to mark the Diamond Jubilee. Work should start in February 2012 and the gardens are expected to open in June.

  Artist's concept of the proposed design for the Diamond Jubilee Garden on the former poolsite
Artist's concept of the proposed design for the Diamond Jubilee Garden on the former poolsite. Larger version here. Drawing ©LBRuT
  Description of the proposed design for the Diamond Jubilee Garden
Description of the proposed design for the Diamond Jubilee Garden. Larger version here. Drawing ©LBRuT

The plans are on display at the Civic Centre and on the council website. They're also at the Cafe Sunshine, viewable between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm on:

  • Friday 30th December and Saturday 31st December
  • Wednesday 4th January
  • Saturday 7th January and Sunday 8th January

Submit your comments via the paper forms at the displays or online to the Jubilee Gardens Feedback.

There will be a consultation in 2012 on the rest of the poolsite (including the former cafe and caretaker's house, now home to HANDS, the local care and support the charity.) The plans are based on the planning permission already received by the Twickenham Riverside Terrace Group (TRTG). Funding of around £500,000 for the work will come from the Council.

According to the council's press release:
'The site will be cleared of 30 years’ worth of weeds, building materials and debris, to be landscaped into three sections: A simple grassed area immediately behind Café Sunshine, a park space in front of the old diving board, which will be kept as a memorial to the long struggle to re-open the site and the last, closest to the old changing rooms, would be paved to become a public square. The Council hopes that square will tie in to plans for the currently built part of the site that will be brought forward after further consultation in 2012. All three would be linked through a running pattern replicating the lanes of a swimming pool, linking to the site’s history.

'An improved entrance to the site from Wharf Lane will be created next to the play area, making it easier for shoppers in King Street and Heath Road to find the site. Pride of place will go to a new feature commemorating the jubilee. The play area will be retained and bounded by a low hedge to keep dogs out. New railings and trees will be installed around the edges of the site for safety and to create ambience.

'The site is immediately behind the Secret Garden which faces the river, and which was opened up in January 2011. Once the clearance work is completed, the two will be linked by the removal of the hoarding at the back of the garden.'

Council Press Release: First images of new Riverside pool site unveiled
Council Press Release: Riverside Jewel to be Borough's Latest Open Space

Consultation on the plan for the centre of Twickenham is now taking place. The core includes traffic and access, parking, possible road closures, and needs careful reading. Comments can be made until 10 Feb 2012. The pre-publication version of the plan (for comment) 90 pages, 5.4MB
For more information and how to comment, see the council's web pages on the TAAP


The agenda for the cabinet meeting

Item 10: Twickenham Action Plan - report of options consultation and way forward - See paragraphs 3.6 and 3.14 for the elements relating to the riverside

Report on all the consultations (94 pages)

Consultation on the future of Twickenham and the Riverside closes, 22 July

On Saturday 11 June the council launched the consultation into the short, medium and long-term futures of Twickenham town centre and the riverside. Following on from the All in One consultations in 2010, several main areas for concern have been identified. Three scenarios have been developed and public comment is invited.

Of particular importance are the three scenarios for the poolsite and the riverside, which have possible knock-on effects on traffic and parking, the farmers' market, the riverside economy on Eel Pie Island - businesses and clubs - and the residents on the mainland. These need attention and the consultation leaflet merits close reading.

Twickenham Area Action Plan
Consultation Leaflet for Twickenham town centre and riverside (.pdf, 8 pages, 3.8MB)
Online questionnaire
Word version of the questionnaire email back to
All in One Consultation report and All in One results for Twickenham (.pdf, 2 pages, 2.6MB)
Twickenham Villages online forum (moderated, requires registration)

ALSO RELEVANT - briefings created during previous attempts to change the riverside:
Rethink on the Riverside (.pdf, 16 pages, 192KB) - visionary report covering the fragile riverside economy and the needs of residents
Riverside Traffic and Parking (.pdf, 1 page, 18KB) - created in 1999, still relevant to the riverside traffic situation
Useful documents relating to the riverside and the poolsite.

29 June 2011: 'The Frame' - Twickenham's Fourth Plinth project unveiled

Launched in June 2011 by Lord True, Leader of the Council, The Frame is a changing display of artwork created by young people and community groups working with Orleans House Gallery. The aim is to showcase and enjoy local creative talent in beautiful natural settings. The frame itself was designed and constructed by artist Roger Hutchins.

Lord True, leader of the council, and two of the participating students
Lord True, leader of the council, and two of the participating students

The first display is inspired by The Thames at Twickenham by artist Peter Tillemans. Painted in around 1724, it is the earliest topographical view of the river frontage at Cross Deep, and depicts many historical buildings which have long since vanished, including the villa of the celebrated poet Alexander Pope. The painting is one of the highlights of the Richmond Borough Art Collection cared for by Orleans House Gallery.

The finished work
The finished work needs to be seen up close to appreciate the details.

Assisted by artist Rachel Craddock, young people participating in holiday activities, art students from Hampton Academy, Orleans Park School and Waldegrave School for Girls produced a contemporary interpretation of this important local landscape. Students carved their images into individual lino tiles which have been scanned, printed and collaged together to create a contemporary landscape.

4 February 2011: Terrace Group receives Temporary Planning Permission

On Thursday 3 Feb, the council's planning committee granted 5 year temporary planning permission to the Twickenham Riverside Terrace Group to redevelop a large part of the poolsite. This application has been through many versions since it was lodged nearly 2 years ago . This is the current design:

Further detail can be seen on the Terrace Group's website.

In their presentation, the Group said that the redevelopment - clearing the poolsite and landscaping - would cost around £800,000, though that was on the basis of an application for a permanent scheme. The temporary nature of the permission may change that.

The application does not include the old pool buildings - the derelict toilets, the derelict former café and the caretaker's house, which is used by the charity HANDS - Help a Neighbour in Distress. Nor does it accord with several of the stipulations in the T1 planning brief for the site - including housing, some retail, river-related uses and bringing people into the area. (For detail, see section 12.54 about halfway down the page at However, the Terrace Group say that the buildings will be subject of a later planning application that should bring the whole site into accordance with T1. A trust will be set up to manage the project. The constitution and membership of that, and the sources of funding, were not revealed.

As well as the temporary status, there are other, stringent conditions - work has to commence within 3 years - and a lot of detail remains to be settled. The planning officer was also at pains to say that the permission wouldn't stand in the way of future planning applications for the property.

Immediate neighbours of the site are concerned about the security of the area at night, and a return to the vandalism, antisocial behaviour and noise (plus problems with flytipping and litter) that occurred before the current high fence was erected. These and other matters, like lighting and legitimate night-time use, will have to be dealt with in the later stages.

Report in the Richmond and Twickenham Times, 11 Feb 2011: Bright future for Twickenham Riverside's former pool site

2 February 2011: Visiting the Secret Garden

Access to the new secret garden is through the wooden door at the end of the terrace in front of Café Sunshine. The door tends to stick and may require some force to open. Inside, the garden is 10 metres by 40 metres. The holes in the hoarding look out onto the remainder of the poolsite.

The secret garden looking downstreamThe secret garden looking downstream

The secret garden looking towards Café Sunshine
The secret garden looking towards Café Sunshine

The poolsite
The poolsite - currently full of rubble and Buddleia - and the back of King Street

22 January 2011: Updates

Item one: After nearly two years, the Twickenham Riverside Terrace Group's planning application for the poolsite will be considered by the planning committee on Thursday 3rd February at 6.30pm. For details, see the Terrace Group's website.

Item two: Note from the council: "We are pleased to announce that a further area of the Twickenham Riverside site will be opened up to the public on Wednesday 26th January 2011 at 11.30am. I do hope that you will be able to come along on the day and join us at this event. If you are aware of anyone who may not be notified by this circulation, we would be grateful if you could let them know of the arrangements for the opening. There is no need to confirm your attendance and we look forward to seeing you on the day."

This follows work by BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) and some local people to open a 12 metre-wide strip from beside the Café Sunshine along the top of the gardens. The remainder of the site is still overgrown and full of rubble.

Poolsite on 26 Oct 2010
The poolsite on 26 October 2010

STILL RELEVANT: RETHINK ON THE RIVERSIDE - this paper from 2002 looks at the poolsite and the demands and expectations around it, unchanged in the last 9 years. It's essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of the poolsite and the centre of Twickenham. Introduction and Full Report (.pdf, 16 pages, 192kb)

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Page last amended 25/7/13. All photographs and text on this site are © Twickenham Riverside, unless otherwise stated.