Some good news this week on the campaign for sensible development of the station and surrounding area. The Council have now approved their proposals on maximum building heights for new developments in that part of town. The document affectionately and indeed formally known as the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) sets a maximum height of 4 or 5 storeys for new buildings at the station site and heights right down to 2 to 3 storeys at other nearby locations which could be up for development. These include the station yard (that’s the big empty space in front of the Albany Pub to the likes of us) and the garages at Mary’s Terrace. Of course at 10 storeys Regal House already marks an exception to these guidelines but it is hoped that the SPD will form the basis for future planning decisions.
(More background to this SPD saga on Twickerati from August is here. And don’t forget that Solum’s podium plans are still working their way through the planning process and were covered by this site here.)
The adoption of the SPD is a good decision from Richmond Council and a good result for local residents. It’s also a testament to a lot of hard work by TRAG, the Twickenham Residents Action Group who have been out in the town drumming up support for sensible development for many weeks. Of course it’s less good for Solum Regeneration as their plan for large scale redevelopment of the station has taken a big knock. (Please try to hold back your tears.) The status of the SPD is no doubt something that Solum will be looking into very very closely and, as a wise person once observed, it ain’t over ’til it’s over. And speaking of wise people, a journalist once said that it’s important to avoid ending a piece with a cliche. A good point but as to whether that’s going to be possible here, only time will tell.