Derek Plummer, Chartered Architect
Richmond Environment Trust


I will address the likely impact of this scheme on the future development of this site. Our consensus view is set out in 1.2 and 1.3 on pages 7, 8 and 9 of our Proof of Evidence.

I will concentrate my summarising comments on the Council/Dearle Henderson scheme.

Some possible adverse impacts on future development would emerge if the new development were to be:
  1. Out of scale
  2. If it cut off the rest of the site from the Embankment
  3. If it failed to extend the riverside ambience
In addition there is concern about the location of the playground. This is because it is not where the main long term public open space really wants to be. This will be elaborated by one of my colleagues, so I will not dwell upon it.

First of all with regard to scale. This is modest by comparison with what currently exists. It would also certainly be modest by comparison with any long term scheme.

A question arises from the raising up of the footpath etc. This raising does have the advantage for those who use the new facility of affording them better views of the river. On the other hand the extent of this raising up would also obscure views of the river and the riverside from other points of view in and around the site as a whole. The question arises: how costly would it be to remove the temporary structures at the end of the five year period? This is a matter for cost benefit analysis. We note in this regard that the Council has determined the length of their short term scheme to be 'no more than five years'.

On balance we concluded that it does seem likely that the expenditure can be justified because of the removal of some of the blight and the provision of useful facilities for the public and local community. After 23 years of blight this would be an achievement.

The proposal would clearly help to improve the riverside ambience provided the detail is appropriate and of high quality. It should be remembered that the cost of high quality landscaping, including steps, planting, retaining walls and so on are commonly and very easily underestimated.

Subject to the points referred to above we consider that the proposal is positive and would bring temporary benefits over the five year period. The proposals are therefore unlikely to seriously block the future development of the site.

Derek Plummer AA Dip RIBA
for the TSG 10 02 04

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