TSG Notes on the Council's Plans for the redevelopment of Twickenham Pool site (summarised from Council Officer's reports)

Background Feb/Mar 2002. Council gives planning approval to the Dawnay Day (DD) scheme; Secretary of State calls it in for review. Planning Inquiry scheduled for Jan 2003.

July 2002. The new Council, as owners of the site, decided to break off negotiations with Dawnay Day. This effectively ensured that the Dawnay Day scheme would not be completed within the lifetime of the present Council. Council commences a major "rethink" of the options for the site.

Mar/Nov 2002. Local amenity groups and individuals agree to work together to oppose the DD scheme at the forthcoming Public Inquiry under the banner of "The Twickenham Society Group", TSG. Documents are prepared and submitted to Planning Inspectorate.

Dec 2002. DD fail to provide requisite documentation to the Planning Inspector and the Planning Inquiry is cancelled. This means that the planning guidelines established by the 1991 Inquiry remain intact. Future developers will note that plans for the site have been called in twice, and that a full Environmental Impact Study was ordered.

The Council has decided...

  • The Council has rejected the option of immediately selling the site for independent development
  • The long term future of the site is for a high-quality, low density development that fully complies with the planning guidelines and the spirit of the 1991 Inspector's report. It is intended that there will be a significant public asset, a limited amount of enabling commercial development (residential; A3, i.e., restaurant/café uses) and A1 retail). There will be a Piazza and/or square to differentiate the public open space from the commercial elements of the scheme, and other "public benefits", e.g., a viewing tower, a fountain or some other distinctive features for public enjoyment.
  • The public asset will be chosen through a competition called "The Twickenham Challenge". It is hoped that the selected scheme will attract significant sponsorship, which will ensure the quality and future of the public asset. The competition is now under way.
  • In the short term, part of the site, closest to the river, will be cleared to create a public open space and a children's' playground. The remainder, about 2/3 of the total will be fenced off.
  • No design competition. Council to fully consider procurement options.
  • Public consultation via the planning process and inviting comments on specific proposals.

  • Benefits of sponsorship. In the past, enabling development has been used to fund the public asset, resulting in "over development". If the major public asset is funded separately, the enabling development will be less and money from it can fund open space and/or other desirable features.
  • Timing. It is intended that the short-term scheme will be completed within 1 yr. The long-term may take 5-7 yrs for completion.
  • Impact on other proposals. The decision to demolish part of the pool buildings for the short-term scheme, effectively removes the Twickenham Riverside Terrace Group's scheme for a Terrace Garden. The Twickenham Society Group's concept for the "Twickenham Waterfront" remains an option for the long-term scheme, but its interim scheme for re-routing of the traffic and enabling development to fund the changes is ruled out.

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