Heatham House to Stay

El Brute has said it will stick with the results of a recent survey and continue to provide youth facilities at Heatham House, Twickenham. The Council had been pushing its vision of a new purpose-built youth centre as part of the proposed development of Twickenham’s sorting office site but a narrow victory for the ‘save Heatham House’ brigade means that the 18th century building and its grounds will remain in their current use. In a slightly tersely worded press release the Council said, “You kids. You don’t know what you’re missing. Now you’ve made your bed, you’d better bloody well lie in it”. Actually it didn’t say that but the tone was certainly something along those lines. The Council has said it’s now unlikely that new youth facilities will form part of discussions about the future of the sorting office site. But please, can no one mention having an ice rink instead.

It’s not clear whether the majority in favour of keeping Heatham House as is were particularly attached to the building itself or were simply sceptical that a new youth centre built as part of a larger development would be able to provide facilities of an equal or better standard. Perhaps they’re concerned that, “in these difficult times” when “we’re all in it together”, the plans for the new “state of the art” centre could get chipped away at until, when finally completed, it doesn’t quite live up to the original vision and leaves El Brute’s youth provision all the poorer for it.

So kids, did you do the right thing?

* LBRuT Press Release
* Friends of Heatham House


Filed under Council, Local Issues & News

5 responses to “Heatham House to Stay

  1. Dan

    The only redeeming feature of a new youth centre is that it would have disabled access. Just to get into the current house requires a walk of about 10 steps – surely they could put a ramp in?

    Anyway, I’m glad Heatham’s being kept as a youth centre, but I wish the council wouldn’t keep going on about their consultations, which they seem to see as binding referendums.

  2. George Ikes

    I think the point about the grounds is really important – the “state of the art” new build had no grounds apart from the exisiting sports area – it seems that Council officers tried very hard not to mention this during the vote – the location of Heatham House is what makes it a far better option for Youth Work – then again perhaps Council officers had something else in mind for the new build – they appear to be working very hard on creating a business for themselves to run council Youth Services – perhaps they needed a head office for their new venture.

    • Gareth Roberts

      The intended use for Heatham House, George, was to turn it into a pricey boutique hotel for Twickenham. Given the proximity of the River Crane it would have taken the forebearance of a saint to resist noting that the Tories were planning to flog off public land and property to provide luxury, riverside accommodation. I am no saint.

  3. What about the areas on the other side of the river Crane, adjacent to the sorting office site: the five a side court, basketball court, skateboard area and woodland playground? Those spaces are a big part of what makes the Heatham House initiative so good – but they’d also be a large part of any development plans for the sorting office.

    Any idea about whether they’ll be be kept for youth provision? Or is it likely to be a case of, ‘You’ve got the house and grounds, what more do you want?’

  4. This is a victory for the young people who voted. Decisions are made by those who show up