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.