INQUIRY PROCEEDINGS, 26 Feb 2004|
Mr Andrea Sarhage
Mr Sarhage was allowed to speak as a witness for Mr Wren in a bid to retain the pool building.
Mr Sarhage has lived in Twickenham since 1996 and retired from the pharmaceutical industry although he has other business interests in Germany, particularly the conversion and refurbishment of buildings as aparthotels. He has no experience of building in the UK.
Mr Sarhage had 'felt sorry' for the old pool building which he described as 'beautiful' and stated that in Germany it would probably not be demolished. He had written to Mr McKevitt and Councillor Carr after 2002 - 2003 about its retention but had not received an invitation to make any proposals for it. Councillor Carr had referred him to Mr Wren. He was not aware that no developer had expressed an interest in retaining the building since 1996 and had made no objection to the Dawnay Day proposals for the site in 2002.
Mr Sarhage's vision for the site was as a piazza for the community enhanced by some development by others. He himself would refurbish the pool building adding another floor with much glazing for an aparthotel with 10 rooms of 40m2 (40 square metres) each. The rest would be given over to restaurant / trattoria, access to the river and water features.
Questioned by Mr Maurici, Mr Sarhage admitted that he viewed his proposals as a challenge, for 'fun'. He knows nothing about British planning law let alone financial modelling, yet his own figures indicated that he expected more than 17% profit, which is fairly standard for a developer. No parking provision had been made for the hotel apartments. When challenged about the conclusions by Donaldson that the area was too small for an hotel, Mr Sarhage replied that it would be an aparthotel not an hotel.
(n.b. this report is drawn from the notes made by members of the Twickenham Society Group during the Inquiry, and we are responsible for any errors or omissions.)
|page last amended 1/4/04|