Twickenham Challenge Appraisal
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Room 1.11 Civic Centre
Twickenham TW1 3BZ

3rd March 2006

Dear Sirs,

I am glad to contribute to discussion of this unique opportunity to create something useful and visually attractive on our long-neglected riverside.

Unlike others taking part, I see the matter not only as a Twickenham resident of many years but as the leader of an organisation which has, by courtesy of the RuT Council, worked for more than half its thirty years of existence from the former caretaker's house on the site to be developed.

The role of 'HANDS' in improving the quality of life for those needing help in Twickenham, in particular the elderly, infirm, housebound and lonely, is agreed by all and in the past year has been recognised by two public awards. It is our earnest desire to continue to operate from this central riverside position.

We strongly support The Environment Trust's plans for a River Centre on the pool site because it makes provision for HANDS and the RNLI, two of several local voluntary organisations under threat from shortage of appropriate accommodation; HANDS has lived in a state of uncertainty for several years, defending our lonely site by the derelict pool from vandals and patching up our decaying premises.

The arrival of a café and children's playground has transformed the scene, and we see this as a first promising step. My support for the River Centre is not merely self-interested: I agree with those who have pointed out how much more suitable this is, because of its river-relatedness, than the alternative plans.

The riverside cries out for such a development, and I see it as the best answer to years of agonising indecision.

It will attract visitors and residents of all age groups to the riverside and facilitate river-related activities in harmony with the aims of the Thames Landscape Strategy and of Arcadia in the City. The display and museum part will complement the nearby local studies museum.

We must not lose this opportunity. It will not recur.

Yours sincerely,

Maureen Payan


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