SOCIETY GROUP CLOSING STATEMENT|
by Judith Lovelace, Chair, the Twickenham Society, 27 Feb 2004
I repeat two statements I made at the start of this Inquiry:
information and comments we welcome.
represent amenity Societies and Community groups from all parts
did not ask for this Inquiry......but perhaps I should say that
we welcome extra information which has emerged from the process.
are pleased to note that, during the course of the Inquiry, the
Council has repeatedly endorsed the 1991 Planning Inspectors
report. We have regarded that report as the touchstone for all
our comments, proposals and contributions over the last 12/13
were worried about 'consultation' as Councillor Arbour is on
record as saying that his Administration would confine itself
to 'Statutory Consultation'. This was not a surprise in the light
of previous excessive consultation, working parties etc but a
disappointment in view of local expertise on this and indeed
other issues. Mr McKevitt's comments under cross-examination
about his attitude to the local Community and about 'different
types' of consultation were very reassuring.
also wished to support Mr. Mckevitt's assertion that the building
has become derelict according to the 'law of unintended consequences'
We said from the start that we have reservations; last week we said
that as extra information has emerged our reservations have increased.
The Inquiry itself has become a public consultation exercise.
Our reservations now are:
the issues raised in our proposed Conditions
about the quality of the design (last week was our first sight
of mockups showing buttresses and fencing)
scheme is very small; it's only 1/5 of the site
of information until now on the design details
of openness about the direction of the long-term scheme though
we are grateful to Mr McKevitt for clarifying some elements of
ends about the short-term scheme eg opening hours of the playground;
which age group is it for? Opening hours of the café? Would these
loos be any use to the Rugby crowds??
management and parking during the demolition and construction
gaps in thinking on the impact of the short-term scheme on the
rest of the site. (eg Tatty fencing around the swimming pool
an invitation to vagrants and the gangs of youth)
do the Council plans for loos relate to the UDP Inspector's recent
do the Council's plans relate to other UDP recommendations? Or
are those still locked in the Twickenham Challenge? Or is it
too soon to ask?
a point made earlier in the month by Yvonne Hewett that Political
administrations come and go - officers come and go but the Societies
are long established in the fabric of Twickenham and in particular
IN THIS SITE
community will retain its interest and scrutiny and will keep
on repeating its support for public open space, public amenities
and river related activity
there are worries about broken promises, eg Councillor Arbour's
manifesto pledge for Jubilee Gardens
These are our reservations; they have become more explicit during the
progress of the Inquiry. We have presented those reservations as constructive
criticism and continue to do so.
Our aims have been:
and we look to you Sir to support and reinforce these aims in your
- To fight blight
- To be constructive
- To demand quality
- To consider the implications for the short, medium and long term
We support the Council's scheme because we believe that demolition
of the pool building is a recognisable and positive first step towards
enhancement of the site.
We also know that the people of Twickenham are thoroughly fed up with
the continuing lack of action on the site: 'Why can't they
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