Embankment Work Gets Going

Work to give Twickenham Embankment a major overhaul is now underway. Phase 1? Cut down all the trees. Now, here at twickerati HQ we like a tree as much as the next person. We like the leaves, the branches, the trunks and even the humble twig, so it’s a shame when they get the chop. But it has to be said that that particular stretch of prime riverside location was not being put to best use. It was pretty much a case of tall trees screening the river and shading a car park. With the site cleared it’s possible to see just what a big area it is. The plans do include the return of (smaller) trees as well as new planters, improved lighting and clearer crossings. Freeing up some of the parking spaces to give better river views and access wouldn’t go amiss either. Unless you live on the Island perhaps.

So, is this latest Council initiative just a case of environmental El Brutalism or is it a long overdue attempt to improve this slightly shabby expanse of prime riverbank? Only you know the answer to that. Oh, and please don’t suggest they build a new primary school there, that would be simply too much.

Twickenham Embankment

Twickenham Embankment

* El Brute website
* Previously on twickerati: Embankment makeover


Filed under Council, Local Issues & News

14 responses to “Embankment Work Gets Going

  1. Public Space

    Does anyone know what the final look will be?. Is there a link to a web site? Is this in any way linked as a pre cursor to allowing developers to put some privately owned development in place of the once wonderful Twickenham Public Swimming pool.

    • michelangelo

      have a look at this link

      Also, the area formerly occupied by the Pool – now The Diamond Jubilee Gardens – has now been designated Public Open Space, by a recent Cabinet decision. This should safeguard against building.

    • Public Space

      Dreadful, please resolve the public space better and put back something for the people of Twickenham, rather than just another inoffensive private dwelling. Its not too late, once the private dwelling is there, you will never knock it down and return it to public riverside , just put the council under to pressure to build something nice for the public. God they have dragged their feet on this one , even longer than Jack The Stripper on the Green …

    • michelangelo

      what “private dwelling” are you referring to?

  2. George

    Agree. Shame to chop down trees – although apparently they were diseased – but that is a big space and having it as a car park is a waste of its potential. French towns often seem to manage to get a good balance between making the most of public space and allowing parking. Let’s look across the channel for ideas.

    • The River Centre scheme proposed by the last council moved the road and car park to the back of the site, freeing up the river front for pedestrianisation. It would have been made as smart as the bit downstream of the bridge, with new trees, street furniture and paving. For many residents this would have been the main gain from the scheme but there would also have been the River Centre for river lovers and users and a café restaurant above it, all at no cost to council tax payers

      Instead we have a small smart but little used municipal garden, paid for out of council tax, invisible from the riverside and a cul se sac, plus an all too visible car park, also paid for out of council tax, an affront to pedestrians from this ‘car-friendly’ council.

    • michelangelo

      Mr Squire, you know perfectly well that there would not have been enough space to move all the cars off the Embankment. You carefully do not mention the 32 luxury dwellings. This is only phase 1, not the end product.
      Please stop living in the past, otherwise someone might mention the ice-rink.

    • The Riverside Walkthrough Video on YouTube (1 July 2009): http://youtu.be/VOjoq02Ec-k produced by Clive Chapman Architects showed how the redeveloped pool site would have looked: a grass-roofed river centre, boat-themed play area, open space, and the refurbished embankment. Most of the parking would be moved to the rear of the site; 6 spaces would be left by the bridge and 12 at the other end.

    • boanerges

      Again Mr Squire fails to mention the 32 dwellings on the pool site!
      Mr Chapman’s video was perforce an “artist’s impression”: the Countryside plans show more parking on the riverside (27 places) than Mr Squire mentions, clearly marked “residents/visitors parking”. These plans are signed by Mr Chapman.

    • boanerges

      Unfortunately, Mr Squire is mistaken in his statements about the previous administration’s plans. If he looks at the “proposed site layout” issued by Countryside Properties, he will see about 30 car parking bays on the river front, and the road is not pedestrianised. The River Centre’s business plan was extremely suspect. Also, there certainly was not “no cost to council tax payers”: an FoI request revealed that at least £500K had been spent on the scheme

  3. Twickersmum

    Its not just the parking that should be relocated but the road itself. Shouldn’t the access road behind Jubilee Gardens be made suitable and parking made available here, whilst the riverside becomes pedestrian friendly?

  4. Mumto1plus2

    Why is so much importance given to the parking rights of Eel Pie residents? The rest of the borough just have to park where they can find a space, often some distance from their homes…

  5. Paul

    To be fair the Council have been muttering about the possibility moving the parking to the inland side of the swimming bath site – as a later phase of the Twickenham re-vamp. Pity it wasn’t phase 1 .

  6. twickerman

    The bleak photo shows the fantastic potential space along the Embankment.

    Although new surfaces and planting will smarten it up a bit, the main feature will be the even more visible car park.

    It’s such a shame that the parking won’t be relocated to somewhere more discrete (such as the semi-derelict corner of Water Lane).