Twickenham Station: Boris accepts Solum’s plans

It was never going to happen. Boris was never really going to challenge El Brute’s approval of Solum’s plans for Twickenham station, and he hasn’t. Why would he? There’s nothing to be gained for him in kicking up a fuss about plans given the seal of approval by a London Borough controlled by fellow Conservatives. So the Solum freight train rumbles on and we can assume that development will now get going in earnest. And of course, it’s best if it does. Let’s av it! After all the debates, discussions and deliberations, we need our new station up and running as quickly as possible. A much bigger farce than any we’ve seen up to now would be to find that, after all this fuss and the bizarre denouement at December’s Planning Committee, the place is still a building site when the 2015 Rugby World Cup comes to town. The current station needs improving, additional development on the site is a sensible idea, and although Solum’s scheme has some good aspects and falls short on others, it’s the only scheme that’s been approved. Get on with it.

And where now for TRAG? They worked hard to raise awareness of the inadequacies of the scheme, were a little too nimbyish for some, but should be able to take some credit for the minor concessions made by Solum whose final plans are definitely a bit more appropriate than their initial offering. Will TRAG disband or move to focus on new issues? There’s likely to be a fair few given the number of sites up for redevelopment. Or will they go underground, fighting a guerrilla war against the station development in the leafy streets of TW1?

And finally, given that some concerns were expressed that the plans for the station itself (as opposed to the accompanying development) weren’t up to scratch in a number of areas one does have to wonder whether the Network Rail / Kier Property joint venture were sufficiently focused on making the station as good as it could be (yes folks, we’re talking the parts that Twickenham residents, workers and rugby fans use the most) rather than simply maximising the development potential of the site. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out and whether the new station is one that’s “just OK” or one that Twickenham can be proud of.

* Richmond & Twickenham Times Item


Filed under Local Issues & News, Station Development, Twickenham Action Plan

4 responses to “Twickenham Station: Boris accepts Solum’s plans

  1. Rik

    I’ve been in Twickenham for 6 years and the one thing I can say for sure about the council is “They love concrete”.

  2. twickerman

    At the kick off meeting for the sorting office site hosted by developer St James (Berkley Group) Virginia Morris, cabinet Member for Plannng and Environment, made it clear to residents that if we want public amenities on the site we will have to pay in terms of the height of the development.
    So it would seem that if any amenities are to be provided, the Council’s height guidelines will be discarded as quickly as they were for the station….
    …and the more financial contributions St James offer the Council the higher they will be allowed to build (according to the Solum model).
    I imagine six storeys will be ‘the starter for 10’ before additional storeys are added to pay for amenities.
    And when the Council finally confirm their decision to kick the youths out of Heatham House a new centre will have to built on the sorting office site – and that’ll be another two storeys folks!
    Welcome to Twickopolis (twinned with Croydon).

  3. twickenham non-rugby fan

    Did you vote Tory and support TRAG? Feel betrayed? well there you go, you only have yourself to blame. And any Tory Councillor ashamed of the outcome should resign now and let the people have their say. Resign you scandalous excuses for representative local government, put your beliefs on the line.
    What this really means is the post office site can go six stories without a blink at planning. Yummie council tax all round.


  4. Considering how long it’s taken thus far: what are the chances this scheme’ll find another stumbling block? Seriously.