Welcome to Travelodge – Gateway to Twickenham

Hotel building work at "Fort Regal"

You can’t have failed to notice the rise and rise of Fort Regal over the last few months. Better known as the new Twickenham Travelodge, this building will not only provide a handy extension to the much loved Regal House but also provide low cost hotel accommodation to the hordes of visitors to our fair town.

Twickenham does need affordable hotel space, especially on rugby days, and if the new hotel brings customers to nearby shops, pubs and restaurants then that’s a good thing. It’s just a shame that this new block is quite so high. But that decision is all in the past now. We move on. We move on, but we also remember to thank the suits down at the Planning Inspectorate in Brizzle for their kindness. Twas they who overturned the decision of the Council’s planning committee. Thanks guys.

The residents of Mary’s Terrace must be feeling particularly hemmed in right now. Up until a few weeks ago they could catch sight of the evening sun before it finally dipped below the railway bridge. Alas, no longer will the amber glow of a Twickenham sunset accompany their pre-dinner cocktails. Yet they need not be too despondent. Any loss of light from the new block will be partly compensated by the light from a large illuminated sign that Travelodge plan to stick onto the side of their new hotel.

At nearly 8 metres long and nearly 2 metres wide this is a BIG sign. A kind of “welcome to the new Twickenham” for those in search of friendly, inexpensive yet comfortable hotel accommodation which does not involve looking at pictures of Lenny Henry. Some locals would like something a little more discreet, a little more subtle, a little less intrusive. (We mean, a sign which is less intrusive rather than a less intrusive Lenny Henry, although that argument also carries weight.) Perhaps something that fits in with the Council’s vision for the “northern gateway” to a regenerated Twickenham would not go amiss.

To be honest Travelodge don’t need such a large sign since if Solum Regeneration get their way at the station then, in a cruel twist of fate that could only really happen in a Thomas Hardy novel, Travelodge’s new sign will itself be obscured by the 9 storey development opposite. Perhaps Travelodge should save their pennies until they know if anyone will even be able to see it and bask in its warm, welcoming glow.

If you want to comment on, approve, or object to, the proposal then you have just a few days left:
Richmond Council Planning page.
Picture on planning page.


Filed under Council, Local Issues & News

7 responses to “Welcome to Travelodge – Gateway to Twickenham

  1. twickerman

    Good news…Travelodge have been persuaded to rethink and have removed the huge high level sign and reduced the mid level sign in size.
    The naff large uplighters that Nick spotted will apparantly be part of a separate application, no doubt accompanied by disco lighting and a laser show! I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
    Thanks go to twickerati for keeping us informed of Fort Regal and Solum’s combined plans to develop the Twickenham wall that will divide East from West (Twickenham)

  2. twickerman

    The Travelodge planning application 11/2238/ADV includes 8 signs with the three largest on the South West elevation facing London Road. There is a 6.7m wide sign over the entrance and a 4.6m high double side sign betwen the fourth and fifth floors. These blue signs with the white Travelodge name will be highly visible from up and down London Road, are typical of other Travelodge signs, and in my opinion are acceptable.
    However, the 3 storey high sign spanning storeys 8, 9 and 10 is totally inappropriate and unnecessary. This is a doubly illuminated sign, with LED lit Travelodge letters on top of the 7.7 x 1.6m illuminated background.
    Twickenham is not Blackpool and doesn’t need comparable illuminations! Surprisingly the Travelodges in Blackpool have far smaller and more discrete signage than propsed for Twickenham.
    There is still time to object to this OTT application

  3. I think, while the drawing of the South West Elevation shows some pretty naff large uplighters (as far as I can tell – thanks to El Brute for not publishing the legends per document) that will probably be in TL’s favourite purple, I still believe a re-think is in order.

  4. George

    Travelodge need to have a sign (big advert) of some kind and so it’s just a question of how big and bright it is. I can see that those living right next to it might be concerned but for the rest of the town it’s not going to have a huge impact. It seems to be facing towards the west and so it doesn’t look as if it will be shining directly into anyone’s bedroom.

  5. mountvinson

    Couldn’t agree more Gawain. That sign is absolutely in proportion. To say otherwise is brainless fearmongery of the worst kind. Twickenham is urgently in need of some regeneration, and risking scaring off potential future developers through NIMBY nit-picking over proposals like this is a bit pointless.

  6. Gawain

    Hyperbole and tosh. The sign looks entirely reasonable and proportionate to the develoment. I object to lots of planning stuff, but I’m not objecting to this – and with only two objections to date, even Mary’s Terrace isn’t either (mind you, compared to their other worries, this is pretty small potatoes)

  7. twickerman

    All of south, west and north twickenham would be illuminated by the massive sign that spans the top 3 storeys of travelodge – if approved by planning officers. Perhaps they’re hoping to get business from planes landing at heathrow 😉