23 September, 2002:
prepared for the Twickenham Society Group of Local Societies and Individuals

Recipe for failure:
During the last 20 years, several attempts have been made to build on the Twickenham pool site a large facility for public use enabled by commercial development. In each instance the scheme proposed has failed to satisfy one or more of the three basic requirements:

  1. acceptable profit for the developer
  2. compliance with planning guidelines and
  3. expectations of the public.
The time has come for a radical change in approach:
  • It is necessary to change the mindset of the last 20 years and to get away from the assumption that it is possible to fund a major public cultural or leisure facility benefit by enabling development on the site. Some ideas are put forward for features for a prime riverside site that is much visited by families.
  • It is necessary to find a reliable way of funding a riverside site that does not depend upon either an enabling development or cash from the Council. Several options are noted.
The basic choice is between:
  1. A low-scale, river-related scheme with modest funding requirement or
  2. A modest development around a public facility, such as a river museum, funded by an individual donor or charitable organisation.
a. Overall
  i. Treat the pool site as a vital riverside site and let the redevelopment of King St be the focus of the commercial regeneration of Twickenham Town Centre
ii. The site stays in public use
  iii. Something 'appropriate' to the area should be built.
  iv. Clearing and landscaping the site to create an open-space or garden in the first instance retains the option of building in the future a new community building that is appropriate in use and size to the location.
  v. The Council needs to develop a brief for King St and the car park behind it, in order that the development of the river-related and town-centre aspects of the whole area are dealt with in an appropriate manner
vi. Scale & massing
* There should be some 'development' on the site and that development should be much, much smaller than that proposed by Dawnay Day
* The spirit as well as the letter of the Inspector's report from the 1991 Public Inquiry should be respected
b. Public open space
i. Forget the break through from King Street
  ii. The public open space should be of high standard and suitable for the use of the whole community
c. Finance
  i. An imaginative scheme for finance and management to involve the community as a partner with the Council
d. Traffic flow, access and parking
  i. There should be adequate parking for people living and working in the area and adequate roads to allow traffic circulation
  ii. There should be adequate access for people living and working in the area, customers of local businesses and members of the Rowing and Yacht Clubs on Eel Pie Island
  iii. There should be adequate provision for parking and access to the area for visitors, and in this respect the site needs to be considered within the context of the traffic and parking regime of the town centre
  iv. No development should lead to an increase in traffic flow of greater than x%
e. Environmental
  i. It is a conservation area. The character intended to be enhanced is that of a small historic waterfront town with asymmetrical intimate interlocking spaces and mixed uses. Scale and massing is key. It should remain a haven within the town centre.
  ii. Trees should be retained
  iii. The site should act as a buffer zone to protect and conserve wild life and the nature reserves on Eel pie Island
f. River-related
  i. If the river drives what is done to the site, its heritage will be preserved, the existing river-related uses will be respected, and it will have a distinctive character that will attract visitors and refresh residents in a way no shopping centre could
g. Leisure use
  i. Adequate space is to be provided to accommodate leisure/sports activities that are suitable and available for family use and that are appropriate for a riverside site

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL PAPER (in Adobe pdf format)

To view the Adobe file you will need an Adobe Acrobat reader which can be downloaded
get Adobe Acrobat
free of charge.

The paper describes the problems of the site and a variety of funding options.

The Twickenham Society Group consists of local organisations who have been working together to prepare a case in opposition to the Dawnay Day scheme to be presented to the Public Inquiry ordered by the Secretary of State.

Point of contact: Jack Betteridge (020-8891-4159)

<< Back to The Riverside Home Page

page last amended 22/1/11