Gloriana in Twickenham: The Great Boat House Bust Up – UPDATED

Boathouse goes here.

Boathouse goes here.

This is now closed to comments. The latest item is here: http://wp.me/pVBg2-2Xe

Not wanting to be accused of spreading mis-information about El Brute’s plans to build a ‘permanent home’ for Gloriana at Orleans Gardens we thought we’d freeze the previous article. Why? Well, it’s mainly because the mahoosive number of comments (over 260!) was making it into a sprawling mess.  You can still read it and all the comments but we thought we’d begin afresh, fully revitalised so to speak, with a re-cap on some of the facts, a reminder that the ‘consultation’ has begun and rapid return to some idle speculation. We’ve even got all the links you could want below. Sorted!

And we’re even regularly adding NEW UPDATES at the end so keeping checking back for those.

Here are some facts and near-facts from the recent past:

  • El Brute (aka LBRuT) issued a press release indicating a plan (subject to approvals, funding and planning permission) to build a boat house for Gloriana at Orleans Gardens in Twickenham. According to the press release it would encompass a boat house, some kind of visitors centre, a new cafe and a new playground.
  • We featured the story on here having previously heard rumblings of the plan from unhappy locals.
  • Our Unscientific Poll shows over 72% of people opposed to the idea with about 14% in favour and 14% undecided until they’ve seen the plans. In fact, these proportions have remained fairly constant both before and after a set of possible plans were posted on this site. The poll might not be totally accurate but it’s certainly interesting.
  • And of course, you don’t need us to remind you that the idea of building anything for Gloriana at Orleans Gardens was not given any air time at the recent elections despite El Brute saying they’d been working on the idea for several months.
  • A consultation period was then announced – it runs from 1st to 29th July online and there will also be drop in sessions at Orleans Gallery
  • After some drawings of a possible scheme appeared – including on this site – El Brute announced that these would not be the plans for the consultation (and so it has proved) and we’ve also heard that the drawings in the consultation may not be the same as those which appear if it gets to the planning permission stage.
  • The proposal is going to the LBRuT Cabinet meeting on 9th July (papers available online from 2nd).
  • The Council have said that if it all gets approved they expect building work to commence in autumn 2015. The original press release said 2014. This was revised to 2015 although documents suggest that some preliminary work will still begin in late 2014… subject to those planning approvals of course! Confused yet?

So far, so strange.

In our quest for clarity we emailed the six local councillors who represent the two wards along the Thames in Twickenham. We asked for their opinion on the proposal to build a barge house for Gloriana at Orleans Gardens. Here at twickerati HQ we felt that residents would like to hear the views on their recently elected representatives on this contentious idea.  As at now (1st July) we have received two responses. Both made reference to the upcoming consultations and so we decided to ask again for their views on the plan. We have yet to receive further replies. Of course they’re not obliged to tell us anything and there will be some collective Council responsibility to toe the line, but we’re not aware of them publicly airing any opinions  on the matter. In the meantime keep a lookout for tumbleweed rolling across the lawns of York House.

The story made the front page of the Richmond & Twickenham Times and has also been picked up by The Guardian and The Evening Standard. Comrade Cable has said on Twitter that he’s ‘very concerned‘ about the proposal while over the water, Prince Zac has said he broadly supports the idea but thinks any plan should have public support.

Gloriana at Twickenham in 2012

Gloriana at Twickenham in 2012

We don’t know if El Brute have been surprised by the strength of the reaction to the idea. If they are, we wonder what’s going on in the darkest recesses of York House at the moment – re-drafting the comms, tweaking the plans, drilling the team for the Q&A, bringing out the big guns perhaps?  If they did expect this reaction, is it connected with why the publication of Lords True and Sterling’s grand vision for us came after the May 22nd vote rather than before. We don’t know. We’ll probably never know. And even if they did tell us we’d probably forget. Hey, maybe they have told us and we’ve already forgotten.

Despite El Brute’s counter-punches about ‘mis-information’, the fact remains that the idea as initially presented faces significant local opposition. Perhaps that will change when people read the consultation literature and look at the images. Or perhaps it won’t. There are plenty who like Orleans Gardens just as it is and don’t feel the need to develop the site to accommodate Gloriana, others  might be amenable to some improvements, and there are a few who like the Council’s plan as it stands. Will local opposition fade if our local councillors get out there and try to sell it to the public? Hmmm. That seems unlikely.

Consultations, protest groups, press coverage, PR campaigns. Blimey. It’s all happening Twick-side! And they say the summer months are supposed to be the silly season for news. Tommy rot! This issue is hotting up to become something of a summertime sensation.

Are you ready? Here comes the bit where you put on your best Nick Robinson voice…

And perhaps, just perhaps, if Richmond Council really battle ahead with this scheme we could be witnessing the first awkward steps down the slippery slope towards their third big legal battle in as many years. After all, they do say that things happen in threes, don’t they?

You can stop the Robinson thing now, btw.

That’s all for the moment. Go! But go and take a look at the consultation material, let us know your thoughts on the design, the project, the whole blooming lot of it. Valuable proposal? Or vanity project?

Stay tuned to twickerati for more updates. 

UPDATES:

Fri 4th July

Wow! That was one angry meeting at the Winchester Room on the 3rd. Lots of questions about who knew what, when they knew it and why this seems to have been developed on the QT. Also about the impact of the development on the environment, and the potential for this being a Trojan Horse for further development. The “visitors paradox” was given a lot of coverage. The what? Basically the idea that if it’s not a visitor attraction then why does it need to be here on this prime site and if it is a visitor attraction then the local infrastructure is not equipped for dealing with it. There were also concerns about the real size and scale which some felt were not properly reflected in the designer’s ‘impressions’ on the LBRuT site.

Some LBRuT councillors were in attendance including Cllr Fleming and Riverside’s Cllrs Chappell and Dias. There were also some council officials. Unfortunately they were routinely heckled when trying to answer questions but feelings were definitely running very high indeed. One thing that did get clarified was that the Riverside Councillors were not aware of the plan before the election. Perhaps this might be understandable for the newbie Councillors who were just candidates at the time but for an incumbent Riverside Councillor like Susan Chappell not to know about it just added to people’s concerns.

There were lots of comments about possible objections on planning grounds but one commenter took the view that once it gets to the planning stage it will go through regardless of any objections that might be raised by the public. His opinion was that if the idea was going to be dropped then it would only be as a result of a political decision before that.

Of particular interest was the point that the feasibility study was begun in May 2013 and submitted in August 2013. This has clearly been something a long time in the planning despite many Councillors and candidates being unaware of it.

Mon 7th July

El Brute have announced that the 9th July Cabinet Meeting at which the Gloriana proposal is to be discussed will now take place at the Clarendon Hall. This is to accommodate more members of the public in the public gallery. However, it is not a public meeting and anyone wishing to speak must register their desire to do so before the meeting. The Council is at pains to stress that this is not a planning committee meeting and nor will it take a final decision on the idea on the day. The supporting documentation will also address “some of the false allegations made about the scheme”. The meeting will also be available to view as a live webcast.

* More info from LBRuT.

* Watch the webcast

Wed 10th July

El Brute’s Council Cabinet meeting last night saw extensive discussion about the Gloriana. Here are some observations we made watching it online but you can see it for yourself here.

Lord True said he had commissioned the feasibility study for providing a home for Gloriana. As we know, he’s a big fan of the scheme. Susan Chappell proposed amendments around providing further information about playground moves, traffic surveys and the operating model. An extension to the consultation was also proposed.

Assorted opponents raised their concerns ranging from the cost to local taxpayers (£1m), the size and scale (“equivalent to 7 houses”), lack of clarity about who will own the building, bear the operating costs going forward, and why the QRB Gloriana Trustees aren’t funding their own boathouse. Opponent Caroline Dyball summed up by asking, “Why are we paying for it at all?”. Paul Bigley spoke eloquently and in detail, including making the point about the scale of it – it will be larger than the Clarendon Hall in which the meeting took place, he said. (You can see him from 18 mins 40 secs)

There were also concerns about other specifics (dock depth, parking, industrialising the site, noise, safety) through to some pretty frank statements from James Barrett who expressed strong views over the lack of democratic process (“The Council appears to be you” he says to Lord T) and the risk of being drawn into detail in a consultation which omits the fundamental option of “We don’t want it”. (You can watch this section from 48 minutes in)

It also seemed that the £3m boathouse would effectively be the winter quarters for Gloriana whilst in the summer months it will mostly be plying its trade and undertaking its charitable duties on the Thames. (* more below)

Geoffrey Samuel (El Brute deputy leader and Councillor for Hampton North) made clear both his Twickenham credentials and his support for the scheme. He went as far as to say that residents in Hampton had shown support for the idea to locate the Gloriana locally. Oh really? In fact, he said objections and support were both valid and that balance needed to be found. He played the “nimby” card saying that those closest tended to object the most and gave the example of people supporting new schools but not wanting them next to their own home. Some might say that schools, hospitals, etc are necessary in a local community whereas royal barges are not. We could be wrong on this point though. He then went on to sing Lord True’s praises. At length.

Councillors Fleming and Hodgins re-iterated that concerns and comments would be taken into consideration. All the officials urged people to participate in consultations without prejudice. The Blue Baron reminded people that we’re only on day 9 of the process.

And the conclusion? An extended consultation period was agreed, more information will be provided and surveys done and the project continues to rumble onwards.

* Note: Gloriana’s duties? We found this via a link posted below about Gloriana’s duties in 2013. It’s an interesting read. Plenty of rowing clubs had a pull on the oars – a good idea to get the boat used. There are also tales of royals, senior visiting big wigs and trips to Henley and Eton. But it’s not just about messing about on the river, there’s an example of fund raising charity work: “Earlier in the year Lord Sterling had offered to The Princes’ Trust and Save the Children Trust as a prize at fund raising auction dinners – ‘a cruise aboard QRB ‘Gloriana’… The Princes’ Trust auction cruise was to be an afternoon canapé cruise with 18 guests aboard. A crew of ‘Gloriana Watermen’ was recruited from local clubs and livery Companies to supplement the Royal Watermen available… The guests arrived and following a welcome from Lord Sterling boarded and the barge pushed away. The guests enjoyed the refreshments being served all in aid of raising a substantial sum for the Princes’ Trust – lessons were learnt but overall a successful first event of its type with hopefully many more to follow.” Read more here: http://www.glorianaqrb.org.uk/assets/qrb-annual-report.pdf

Tue 15th July…
Two more bits of news for you:

On Tue 15th July there’s a kids party at 4.00pm at Orleans Gardens playground. There will be a picnic and children drawing lots of pictures to hang in the railings. The organisers are hoping this will become a photo opportunity to show how much the park is enjoyed in its current state. In fact, here are a couple of photos of the picture protest.

Childrens Painting Protest Signs at Orleans Gardens Twickenham 3

Childrens Painting Protest Signs at Orleans Gardens Twickenham 2


 

GetWestLondon is reporting that Brentford Chamber of Commerce wants Gloriana to have a permanent base at its ‘spiritual home’. Built in Brentford and launched at Isleworth, Gloriana has strong ties to the area. Possible locations suggested have been Brentford Lock or Lot’s Ait, the island between Brentford and Kew Gardens.

Read the story and vote in their poll here. At the moment, the poll shows overwhelming support for taking Gloriana to Brentford. 94% support that move while in our poll of over 1,300 votes 74% are against Orleans Gardens as the boathouse site with just 13% in favour.

 

Wed 16th July…
Well, further to the Brentford option appearing out of left field, the Blue Baron has come out all guns blazing to say that he won’t be giving up on his dream just yet. This is despite Hounslow Council coming out in support of Brentford as a home for Gloriana. In an updated  item, GetWestLondon reports his Lordship as saying that Gloriana “is not available and I’m hoping she won’t become available”.  In other words, “my idea, my rules”.  In the article His Baronliness blames the negative campaign for ‘spreading lies’ about the plans. He’s hoping people will come round to the idea.  “We’re not giving up” he’s quoted as saying, by which he means himself and the Gloriana team and not just him and his number two at York House, Councillor Samuel (see above). He adds, “At the moment the Gloriana team have chosen Orleans Park as their preferred site” which we thought slightly strange because we thought this recommendation came through the Council. We must have got that wrong too. Whatevs. You can read the updated article here. Meanwhile we’re still on the look out for messages of Gloriana support from Twickenham’s own Councillors and we will definitely, definitely let you know if we see any.

In other topical news, the Save Orleans Riverside campaigners have started selling wristbands and also released this specially designed campaign poster.

Say No to Gloriana poster

 

And, after concerns that anybody in the whole wide world can take part in the consultation (which they can) – and are being encouraged to do so on Gloriana’s own Facebook page – El Brute have confirmed that the results will be weighted differently between local responses and non-locals. In other words, locals opinions may given more consideration than those of people who, just like many Twickenhamites, support the idea of a permanent home for Gloriana but who may have no idea about Orleans Gardens as a piece of open, public land.
 

Fri 18th July
Apparently, there was some kind of Gloriana scheme launch event at York House on Thursday. Twitter pictures show Lord True getting into conversation with poster weilding opponents of the scheme.

Meanwhile the opposition have sent El Brute a list of Gloriana related questions for the Council Meeting on 22nd July. You can see the agenda and all the questions here but they include some important ones such as:
(i) “The current consultation questionnaire on the Council website does not allow for a YES/NO button to the scheme as a whole and a question which asks, “Do you want the Gloriana in Orleans Gardens Riverside or not?”. Would the Council agree to change/amend the consultation questionnaire to enable these responses to be considered?” and;
(ii) “Why, in these times of austerity, when so many essential services are being cut, does the Council choose to make over £1m of Council tax payer’s money available for the Gloriana boat project?”.

And of course, you can attend the drop in sessions at Orleans House Gallery which run from today (18th) through to Sunday 20th. El Brute have also announced that the feasibility study which led to Orleans Gardens being chosen is now online (subject to a few redactions). Here’s the link to the Gloriana consultation and feasibility study page.

Sat 19th July
The drop in consultations took place over the weekend. Your humble correspondent paid a visit. The event was well attended and the opposition were out and about asking testing questions of the staff on hand. We’d heard that at least one Twickenham Councillor had been there but on our visit it was left to the Gloriana’s skipper, a couple of Council officials and someone from Foster & Partners to field the questions. Meanwhile a couple of hundred metres away, the Gloriana was moored up by Hammerton’s ferry olooking all rather splendid. A funny co-incidence, we thought. And we definitely expect a bonus point for spotting Mr Lord Sterling on board!

After learning a little more about the possible scale of the thing we had a go at our own scale model using the medium of Lego. At 36m long, 7m high and 12m wide, it’s not small when compared against a 4cm Lego person and assuming them to be of average height (just under 5’10). Does this help?

Boathouse (Lego scale)

Boathouse (Lego scale)

To be continued…

OUR FAMOUS POLL:

If you’ve not voted, please do. If you have, please don’t.

LINKS & INFO:

* Previously on twickerati: The Twickenham Gloriana Experience

* The LBRuT Gloriana Consultation Page

* LBRuT consultations: online from 5.00pm on Tuesday 1 July until Tuesday 29 July. Drop in sessions are at Orleans House Gallery on 18th July (10.00am – 4.00pm) in the Octagon Room and 19th & 20th July (10.00am – 4.00pm) in the Stables.

* El Brute press release

* Richmond Council’s 9th July Cabinet Meeting page (papers should appear online on 2nd)

* Concerned / interested residents community meeting at the Turks Head Pub / Winchester Hall, St Margarets on 3rd of July at 6.30pm

* Facebook page: Twickenham vs The Gloriana

* Articles in The Guardian & The Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph and the BBC.

* Articles in GetWestLondon and on BrentfordTW8

* Friends of Orleans Riverside campaign site

* The Orleans Gardens Blog – a new blog supporting the campaign not to develop the park

* Latest twickerati item: http://wp.me/pVBg2-2Xe

Orleans Gardens, Twickenham

Orleans Gardens, Twickenham

408 Comments

Filed under Council, Gloriana boathouse, Local Issues & News

408 responses to “Gloriana in Twickenham: The Great Boat House Bust Up – UPDATED

  1. This is now closed to new comments.

    The most recent item is here: http://wp.me/pVBg2-2Xe

  2. Twickenham MP Vince Cable voices opposition to docking of the Gloriana in Orleans Park

    Twickenham MP Vince Cable has joined the wave of opposition against the docking of the Gloriana boathouse in Orleans Park. Council proposals to give the Queen’s Royal Row Barge a permanent home in the town, have angered residents who fear it will destroy natural habitats and create traffic chaos.

    Mr Cable visited a council exhibition of the project on Sunday, July 20, and was not convinced the plans are in Twickenham’s interests. He said: “It looks to be a good idea to have the old Royal Barge housed on a new dock in Twickenham. But the access road is too narrow and congested for visitors. This is a prestige project costing £1 million in capital and potentially annual support. And it is at the expense of green space in one of the best-loved parts of the borough.”

    http://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/11368672.Twickenham_MP_Vince_Cable_voices_opposition_to_docking_of_the_Gloriana/

  3. twickerman

    Twickergirl loves the playground just as it is.

    She wants to know if it’s possible to have a paddling pool instead of the big ugly boatshed?

    Please can this option be added to the consultation?

    Big Ugly Boatshed: Yes / No

    Paddling Pool: Yes / No

  4. Ex-Twickenham Resident

    Quite simply…Twickenham does not want the boat, Brentford does. Everyone’s happy!

    • Adrian

      Letter to Lords

      Dear Lord True, Sterling and Foster

      The current plans for a base for the Gloriana in Twickenham have created a fiasco that is now tarnishing the reputation of Richmond Borough Council, the Gloriana and the trustees.
      The process to date has not been open and should not be being lead and paid for by the residents of Richmond and Twickenham. You need to start again!
      May I politely suggest that the trustees of the Gloriana issue a clear specification and ask for expressions of interest. They should detail out their requirements and request that any interested parties put forward their proposals. This would enable an open and transparent process and the trustees could evaluate each of the potential options on their merits, both commercial and practical.
      At present a site is being put forward that is deeply controversial with the local residents, will only allow access at High Water, will be extremely expensive to build and maintain, has difficult road access and is in a park setting that is not suitable for a marine maintenance facility.
      Surely by having an open process the trustees will be able to identify many more suitable sites, perhaps that actually need regeneration/investment, rather than a tranquil park setting in a very smart part of SW London!

      Kind regards

      Adrian

    • Peter Francis

      And to add to that. This is a private development on public land. Forget the tourism; there’s no provision for it. It is being proposed and measured up as a permanent installation for a very specific use. But suppose Gloria is wrecked or goes up in smoke like the Cutty Sark what do we do with what’s left – an outdoor swimming pool? What an irony! Or having built it, suppose in the years ahead Lord Sterling finds something better suited to purpose; no one argues that this is the ideal site and most of Gloria’s engagements are upstream. Would he wave us good bye. Why shouldn’t he? What do we do then?. If we vote for this scheme we are saying ‘Yea, Whatever!’ We need the Covenants, The Service Level Agreements to ensure that this is properly managed. Otherwise we give LBRUT a blank cheque and trust to its honour and competence. Would you?

    • Is this a letter you are proposing to send? Or are you merely adopting the open letter format as a literary device? Please make your intentions clear.

  5. Today’s print RTT has ‘More questions asked as controversial boat docs’ (p 2) and 5 letters (p 26) but not Clare King’s letter.

    http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?pbid=c7955673-549d-44a9-9a9c-a642bedeaef8

    • anonymouse

      Let’s not forget that the Council have just voted to support the R&TT in their bid to stay local.

      As a result, the R&TT are unlikely to rock the lordy boat!

  6. Clare King

    [EDITOR: Re-posted onto here from the Your News thread given the subject matter]

    Clare King…….

    I sent this to the Rich&Twick. Thought I’d post here in case they don’t publish.

    The recent news about the threat to Orleans Gardens and Swings has really upset me. I feel so frustrated that it feels as if, despite so much opposition, this plan has been allowed to gain such momentum. Where is the simple online survey that says: ‘Do you want the Gloriana to be housed in Orleans Gardens? YES or NO’? I have yet to meet someone who wants it. But I feel compelled to write because there are letters in the paper that suggest there are people in favour. I urge those people and Lord True to come down to the swings and spend some time there. I can’t believe that anyone who has spent time in these beautiful gardens would want to change them. I would love to join you and sit with you and explain why for so many in our community they are so important. I could bore you with my childhood memories of playing this stick game on the roundabout or when I first learnt to use a big swing on my own. I would tell you about how much fun we had as teenagers hanging about in the early evenings. My husband and I grew up in this park, we got married in the Orleans House Octagon Room and walked through the park after the ceremony.

    Despite not being able to afford to live as near it as we did, we still see it as such a special place. I bring my children here now. My four year old just mastered the monkey swings after about 200 hours of trying. My dad used to bring my Gran here till she was 99 and my husband’s Gran has a bench in memory of her looking out to the river. You could rightly say these are just my memories and what right do I have to stop change. But by now you would have been sitting with me for some time and you’ve probably started to appreciate the most important bit of all: how peaceful and tranquil the gardens are. You’ve probably noticed that the trees provide this beautiful, mottled shade and when the wind blows you can hear it through all the leaves. You can also smell the river. I didn’t realise this until I was down there savouring it last week but you can if you sit for a while. Forget the millions of shared memories, these swings offer a sanctuary to everyone that goes there. Just look at the faces of the people there, the children, the grandparents, the dog walkers, the cousins, the aunties and teenagers. How happy and content they are to be free from health clubs and membership fees and gymborees and skinny frappuchinos and queues and traffic and ipad apps and modernisation and upgrading. Orleans Gardens provide a place for children to be free to play and people to be present whether on their own or with others. The plans for the Gloriana would destroy this. I believe the Gloriana deserves a lovely home but please just put it somewhere else.

    • Sascha

      A beautiful letter Clare, wonderfully put. I cannot comprehend who (fan of Lord True’s Crystal Palace or not) could possibly have given this the thumbs down?

    • Dear Clare, a lovely letter. I think you have summed up many people’s thoughts and feelings. It’s for people like you that we must prevent this destructive plan. Thank you. Susan

    • michelangelo

      It really does pay to be realistic. Clare and several other may not have met anyone who approves of the present proposal, but looking at the vox pop polls here and on RTT shows that there are indeed people who think it is a good idea, and I am sure the anti faction is more likely to vote than the pro faction.
      I remain neutral at the moment, as there is more to come out. I am thus in the ” need to see the plans before deciding” camp.

    • Bobby B

      Clare, beautiful!

      Michelangelo, intrigued as to why the anti-faction would be more likely to vote than the pro faction? If there are people that strongly feel that this is a great idea they would surely say so, just as the many people who are against this are making their thoughts and feelings known.

    • G

      There are so many, me included, that would have been proud to have written that. You know what, that’s a letter from so many hearts, I thank you for posting and sharing xx

  7. Feasibility Study is now complete as a set of web pages at https://orleansgardensblog.wordpress.com/feasibility-study-august-2013/
    Contents:

    5 Sections:
    1, 2 and 3 only: Introduction, Project Brief and Historical Context
    4 Assessment Of Options And Recommendations [general remarks]
    Option 1: Buccleugh Garden Site
    Option 2: Gothic House Site
    Option 3: Marble Hill Park [and Orleans Gardens] – this is the bit that evaluates the Orleans Gardens site, which turns out to be the only feasible site and therefore, by default, the ‘best site’ in the Borough.
    Option 4: Use an existing boatyard and provide a display mooring at Richmond
    5 Consultation On Draft Recommendations . .

    9 Appendices:
    1 Gloriana Summer Events 2013
    2 Extracts from the London Plan and LBRuT Core Strategy
    3: Comments of Assistant Development Control Manager LBRuT
    4: Comments of the Port of London Authority on Option 3
    5: Feasibility Cost Estimates: Options 1 – 3
    6: Note of meeting at Hammertons Ferry on Thursday 27/07/13
    7: Note of meeting at Orleans Gardens on Monday 08/07/13
    8: Advice from Beckett Rankine Marine Consulting Engineers . .
    9: Consultation response from Environment Agency 07/08/13

    • anonymouse

      The feasibilty study claims there is ‘good road access’ to ‘the visitor centre’.

      This is obviously an impartial study that can be trusted!

    • Yup read it mousey. There is also great access from across the water, The people of Ham haven’t yet twigged that their pretty narrow roads and lovely peaceful river bank is going to have coach parties arriving to see Ham and then be taken across the water to goggle at a faux royal barge. That will be an interesting moment of enlightenment.
      Keep it coming mousey – useful info here.
      Has Lord True declared his interest as a member of the Board of Royal Parks – don’t recall that when he bragged about linking all the royal parks from Chiswick through to Hampton Court.

    • Questions

      That’s because it is assuming use of the service road ie Riverside that we have been promised will not in fact be used!! The feasibility study is incorrect on this and many other points!

    • It would be helpful if you were to list the errors here while they are fresh in your mind; no doubt others will assist, so that whoever gets to make the case against at planning has them without having to find them out afresh.

  8. twickerman

    I have to disagree James B.

    The only reason the Lib Dems equally ridiculous Riverside plans were sunk was by political pressure (assisted by some dodgy finances).

    With a large Council majority and a planning committee majority Lord True WILL force his boathouse plans through, regardless of process blah blah blah (think Catholic school and Solum station).

    It’s a done deal that will only be undone by political pressure (local & national).

    It might just force Lordy into a Plan B – find a more suitable & less controversial site in LBRUT.

    Or it might open the door for a Plan C – a rival proposal/offer from another Borough.

    I personally hope it’s Plan B, but Plan C would be preferable to Lordy wrecking Orleans Gardens for ever.

    • James B

      You’re quite right, of course. It is more politics than planning, to be sure. It’s just that a necessary but by no means sufficient step in the politics bit of it will be having loads of objections lodged in the planning bit of it.
      Any skills acquired in the great Riverside Fight will be very useful in this one, of course, and if you are a veteran of that campaign please do step into the breach on this one.
      James B

    • anonymouse

      This is how the planning process will work:

      Lord True and his planning team will ‘listen’ to the consultation feedback and planning objections, make a few pre-planned minor tweaks so as to look responsive, then vote through their own planning application by the Tory majority.

      Lordy and his planning team will of course argue that Gloriana is an extra special case (royal jubilee, Richmond’s royal connections, heritage, priveledge, once in lifetime opportunity, improved playground and cafe, blah blah blah) that allows them to trump a number of very strong and reasonable arguments against development.

      The Council will also organise a massive pro Gloriana vote through rowing clubs and the Tory faithful in distant wards (such as sheen & hampton) that never use Orleans Gardens but like the idea of housing Gloriana. The big shiny boat PR show last weekend was just the start of this campaign.

      The only hope of saving Orleans Gardens, other than political pressure, is by strong technical arguments against the development of public protected MOL that will sway the planning inspector/JR judge because the planning committee result will almost certainly be 5:4 in favour of Glorianaland.

  9. Sascha

    The first freedom of information responses received from LBRuT make some interesting reading, particularly the correspondence: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/planning_details_and_corresponde#incoming-542079

    A few specific points:
    – Lord True refers to “A Crystal Palace for a fairy craft” (!!!)
    – Lord True appears to agree that a boathouse would be a “huge tourist attraction”
    – Its clear that plans were cynically put on hold over the election period

    • Purple Haze

      Loved that “A Crystal Palace for a fairy craft”.
      It must have been a damn fine lunch to come up with that one!
      How did the ‘Crystal Palace’ become what looks like a stack of wooden pallets then?

    • Ex-Twickenham Resident

      What the heck was on the menu? Sounds like something someone may have said from the Eel Pie Hotel in the late ’60’s.

    • G

      If it gets built it could well meet the same end!….. Firework display in Orleans Park anyone?

    • Anonymous

      Is that an invitation to party? But seriously, on the face of it it is vulnerable to fire. Although wood can be treated to reduce fire risk I don’t know how effective it is. If a boy in the 1940’s could torch All Saints Church in Isleworth what might someone do today. It’s a lonely spot at night. Fit all the alarms you like but it won’t stop it burning. I wonder what the Fire Service would say.

    • G

      Exactly, my point may have seemed flippant but there’s a real worry about the security of the site, a fire and the problems tackling it are a very real and serious concern.

    • Yvonne Hewett

      Not just a wooden building with a wooden boat: there’d have to be paint, varnish, and fuel stored inside. This is a working boathouse, not – as depicted – a lovely empty hangar.

    • Peter Francis

      At last a name I recognise! And I seem unintentionally to have gone anonymous. Welcome to the fray. Probably no fuel – the engines are electric but, yes, flammable material. But we will be assured it’s all taken care of and approved under Doc H. Anyway is it anyone’s concern if a shed burns down in an open field? It’s not the Cutty Sark! There are so many concerns but none of them bite. The main issue is the use of public land for a private purpose. There is no provision for tourism and Francis Spenser tells me that tourism has fallen off of recent years (which, of course, is an argument for regenerating it!). How often is Marble Hill House open now? And what’s the point of tourism if they don’t pay?
      I can’t find it but somewhere on this blog there should be my proposal to submit the consultation documents, as seen on the Foster site, to the ASA. Particularly that mendacious artist’s interpretation. I’ve looked at the ASA’s website and it appears to be within their remit. Got any advice?
      In case I’m still anon remember discovery centres? Peter Francis

    • Walkinthepark

      You couldn’t make it up, well I couldn’t anyway, I must not eat in the right restaurants. Has Lord True turned into a satire of himself …….

    • or even a Satyr……..

    • James B

      Thank you so much for finding this out. A Crystal Palace, indeed ! A huge tourist attraction. With no traffic !
      James B

    • Sascha

      You will see from my other requests that there is more to come, in particular a copy of the HLF request document. I think there is probably more documentation that we can force them to disclose through this route through other FoI requests. Do use the whatdotheyknow.com website (its very easy) to go at it!

    • Gill Clay-Jones

      Very interesting that our Lord and would-be master has been committed to this scheme since April, 2012, and kept his ambitions secret from his own councillors and, of course, us poor plebs, for all that time.

  10. RAC

    Perhaps it’s time for the environmentalists and conservationists to become involved. According to the London Biodiversity Partnership ( http://www.lbp.org.uk/downloads/PrioityInverts/DepressedRiverMussel.pdf ), the last remaining Greater London habitat of the Depressed River Mussel (Pseudanodonta complanata) happens to be the north bank of the Thames between Richmond and Twickenham of which Orleans Gardens forms a part.
    Described as “very rare” and classified under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 as a “Species of principal importance for the conservation of biological diversity in England”. Both the mollusc and it’s habitat are listed under Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 as “Habitats and Species of Principal Importance in England”.
    At the time of the Thames floods in 2013, it was revealed that the Environment Agency had rejected calls to dredge the flood-hit lower reaches of the Thames thereby allowing the floods because of the presence of the endangered depressed mussel- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2558087/So-wasnt-Thames-dredged-In-case-rare-mollusc-disturbed-despite-region-described-one-undefended-flood-plains-England.html.
    As dredging of its habitat has been identified as the principal cause of its declining numbers and its virtual extinction from Greater London, the question needs to asked as to why dredging should be should be allowed to provide a home for Cllr Lord True’s folly.

    • The Feasibility Study says:

      ‘ . . The area shown for the proposed mooring may, however, be occupied by the Depressed River Mussel, Pseudanodonta complanata. This is only found in London on the north bank of the River Thames between Twickenham and Richmond. The mussel is not legally protected but it is a species of principal importance for the conservation of biodiversity in England and Richmond Council is one of the managing agents for its protection. It would be necessary to survey the site and, if found, undertake mitigation measures . . ‘

      https://orleansgardensblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/option-3-marble-hill-park-and-orleans-gardens/

  11. Purple Haze

    It’s interesting to see there still appears to be no reference at all on the official Gloriana website to the proposed boathouse in Twickenham.
    http://www.glorianaqrb.org.uk/index.html
    I understand the vessel was being shown off in a PR exercise on The Thames at the weekend, travelling up past Hampton Court on Sunday.
    If you haven’t already seen it there is some useful technical information on the website that relates to the vessel’s dimensions and to the people and companies connected with the project.
    Incidentally a search for information about Lord Sterling’s background revealed some rather intriguing stories. But we don’t want to be accused of stirring up political and class issues do we? 😉

  12. G

    Well, I went to the Council meeting, thought Monty Python was at the O2 and live on Gold, not so sure now!
    One statement, in answer to a question asked of Lord True, was that we (the Council) had agreed to contribute a third of the costs. Now, please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought it was capped at one million pounds? Did I miss something or was that a sneaky little one liner that changes the brief, not used to these Council meetings you see!

  13. James B

    I think the thing to bear in mind at this point is that the only, and I repeat the ONLY, thing that will count at the end of the day will be objections made in formal response to the planning proposal.

    The grounds for objection cannot be just anything (like the total lack of democracy, for example) but rather have to be one or more of quite carefully delineated grounds; these grounds are helpfully spelled out on the Council planning feedback form, which is where objections should be placed.

    If even a fraction of the energy that has gone into these exchanges were also devoted to well-placed planning objections it would be hugely helpful.

    James B

    • Walkinthepark

      We are a long way from a chance to input our comments to the Planning process though, and at that stage, September at the earliest, I am sure there will be plenty of advice available on the most effective way to do that. Plenty of us have the experience of effectively objecting to Planning proposals you highlight and there are Planning consultants involved as well.

      In the meantime though it can do no harm to highlight all the issues to encourage people to respond to the consultation as negatively as is possible given the loaded questions etc. and to keep up the political pressure on Lord True and his acolytes that arises from the widespread objections. Lord True has had plenty of time to set a juggernaut in progress and they may keep forging on, their strategy will be to be responsive on detail, and rubbish all the objectors as politically motivated, but not to stopping the project at all. Don’t expect the analysis of the consultation to be objective for instance, it has been worded to enable them to minimise the strength of objections to the whole and emphasise differences of opinion on minor details. Then they can alter minor details and claim to be responsive to consultation.

      The Planning process will be no different, there will be a well argued and researched Council proposal, amended to take account of “resident objections” as defined by them, and Lord True will flex his majority on the Planning Committee. Of course the residents have no right of appeal to a Planning Decision so it seems inevitable that Lord True is aiming for a hat trick on Judicial Reviews and we will all have to chip in for some clever Lawyers to save our park. In the end it may well be the legality of process and the wording of the Act that most counts.

      However who knows, maybe Lord True does actually have a point at which he actually will do a U turn in response to resident opinion. They did a U turn (with bad grace) on the proposal to turn Heatham House into a hotel but that one was not quite so much, publicly at least, Lord True’s personal project.

      So it cannot hurt for people to voice all their objections and thoughts, and it makes us feel better…..

    • Anonymous

      you’re quite right; I was just worried that we might miss the planning forms.

    • Walkinthepark

      Plus of course it may get sunk by technical (legal, planning and engineering) difficulties and funding problems, which are whitewashed in the feasibility study, though not in the Cabinet papers which admits there are serious risks to the project (so why are they risking sinking so much of our money with it?), in which case expect our “Council” to make great play of having responded to our objections…….

    • Jonathan

      It would also be good to make the objections heard by the Gloriana backers – all those company pumping money in for good PR, etc.

      It might be worthwhile everyone writing to Buckingham Palace stating there objections. Everyone who writes in by post will get a reply and the message will reach the top is a hundred or so letters are received on the topic

    • Walkinthepark

      Writing to the Queen is an excellent idea, and to Prince Charles, most definitely what is proposed will be “a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much loved friend” , it might just be what it takes to sink the proposal if we can prompt him to one of his famous interferences with “democratic process”. He might just have more influence over Lord True than his friends who are mere Lords…….

    • Agreed. We can’t tell in advance what will sink this scheme so it is important to try everything and see what works. Is investigating the workings of the Heritage Lottery Fund, its likely funders, to find out how it makes its decisions, who its directors are, when they meet, etc. A demo outside their office the day they meet, perhaps once a quarter, to formally decide whom to fund, would embarrass them and delight the London media.

      Also Talk radio has insatiable demand for stories to talk about – is anyone pursuing this? We know that PaUL Dibley can speak well so he would be just the person for this.

    • Peter Francis

      Absolutely, but it does matter if comments are vacuous, trivial, fatuous, uninformed because that would say we are that sort of people and can be ignored.

    • dellboy

      looking at the mockup of the boathouse on the council website ,where is the fencing and a guillotine dock gate, if the gate is the depth of of the dock, approx. 16 feet, this having to clear 10 feet above ground makes it a height of 34 feet;(10+16 +8,half the gate for stability).
      This definitely spoils any view towards Richmond Hill

    • Peter Francis

      I made a mistake. I took the guillotine from the feasibility study but it has been dropped from the final Foster plan. But you are right in that the artist’s impression is a misrepresentation of the plan. It does not show the lock gates or the swing bridge and gives the impression of an uninterrupted landscape without fences. I also doubt whether the boathouse, which is as high as our house, is to scale. I have looked at the Advertising Standards Authority’s site and believe there is a case for referring this web site to them but if we lose we’re stuffed. I doubt whether the bias in the consultation questionnaire which is linked to the Foster web site would be in their remit though the answers that people give will be influenced by what they have just seen. There would also be a stronger case coming from a group rather than an individual. It’s a question of strategy. Is there anyone out there who can run with this?

    • dellboy

      The guillotine is still factored in on option 3 costing, where does it say it’s been dropped please.

    • Peter Francis

      I assumed it had been dropped because it only appears in the feasibility study and does not appear in the Foster web site on which the consultation process is based. This shows lock gates. The same goes for the tunnel and I was told by someone close to the actions that that had been dropped because of cost. I can’t see that a guillotine has any advantages and there certainly would be howls of protest.

  14. Please, has anyone got out a compass, and realised that while now, we can enjoy our morning coffee in the dappled sunlight of Orleans Gardens ..if there was a colossal and mainly empty boathouse to the east of a new cafe, we would be in DENSE SHADE until the afternoon……how horrible, it mustn’t happen

    • G

      There’d be no view towards Richmond or even Ham House either, just a SEVEN METER HIGH wall, nice!
      I pointed this out to the representative from Foster + Partners stating that this was a poorly thought out architectural concept as it seemed that only the storage of Gloriana had been considered.
      It’s not just the cafe either, there will need to be a high barrier/fence around the canal, the seats by the river that have the view if Richmond Hill will go, the steps to foreshore will go,many trees will go and the enjoyment of using the park, taking kids to the playground, walking your dog and stopping of a coffee and a chat will all go as the view and the riverside aspect is the charm and reason for going there in the first place.
      Why is it that some people only think about the storing of someone else’s boat but don’t see the bigger picture of loss, there really isn’t a gain regarding this site at Orleans Park, once gone it’s gone!

    • G

      Ha, typing on a smart phone and corrective txt can be a bit grammatically embarrassing, sorry about the of’s if’s etc. Mind you, I guess they can be overlooked and understood, unlike this potty plan!

  15. Walkinthepark

    Whilst taking on board what Chris Squires says about the sites having been chosen because they are Council owned I still wonder why the three sites favoured by Lord Stirling are amongst the most attractive, historic and bucolic along the whole of this stretch of the Thames. Could it be that the context of historic beauty will be very good for the brand of his boat, which otherwise left in a marina, by other boathouses or working boatyard will be in danger of having it’s brand diluted and being perceived by the public as just another rich man’s vanity project and unlikely to attract visitors, or income. No matter that so many people enjoy the historic beauty of the park as it is undamaged by sluice gates, canals, giant hen hutches, service vehicles, car and coach loads of visitors. I note in the feasibility study it expressly describes the project as a tourist attraction. To be fair it won’t be Disney, more Madame Tussaud’s………

  16. July 21: Sections of the Feasibility Study published on my blog at https://orleansgardensblog.wordpress.com/feasibility-study-august-2013/:
    • 1, 2 and 3 only: Introduction, Project Brief and Historical Context
    • 4 Assessment Of Options And Recommendations [general remarks]
    • Option 1: Buccleugh Garden Site
    • Option 2: Gothic House Site
    • Option 3: Marble Hill Park [and Orleans Gardens]
    • Appendix 3: Comments of Assistant Development Control Manager LBRuT
    • Appendix 4: Comments of the Port of London Authority on Option 3
    • Appendix 5: Feasibility Cost Estimates: Options 1 – 3

    Still to come: Option 4 Use an existing boatyard, Section 5 Consultations and Conclusion, and Appendix 2 Relevant Planning Policies.

  17. Coco

    I have mixed feelings about this – it would be nice to have the Gloriana in Twickenham, but the council seems determined, slowly but surely, to turn our lovely quiet stretch of riverside into a busy, overcrowded, visitor attraction. Is it just me, or are the council missing the point entirely about what makes Twickenham so wonderful – i.e. it’s ‘hidden’ natural beauty, peace and tranquility?

  18. Anonymous

    Dr Susan Burningham should concentrate on priorities closer to home.

  19. Jonathan

    The Thames Landscape Strategy is still active and they have a new website

    http://thames-landscape-strategy.org.uk/what-we-do/policy-and-strategy/

    The Arcadia / Thames Landscape Proposals are embedded in Council’s adopted Local Development Plan -Policy DM OS 11 is key, along with paragraph 4.1.45

    See page 50 of :

    http://www.richmond.gov.uk/final_development_management_plan_adopted_nov_2011.pdf

  20. James B

    We are so all looking forward to the council meeting. I cannot understand the arguments of those in favour of this scheme .
    They seem to be mostly
    Attacks on the politics real or assumed of objectors, with the suggestion that the simple people of the Borough have been stirred up by agitators
    Attacks on the basis that True is a terrific person and can be trusted to make decisions only with our best interests in mind
    General venom not otherwise specified.
    What none of them do is address the actual points of the objections. This would be a huge development on a popular piece of unspoiled riverside. The dimensions are admitted.
    it would the destruction of a meadow, playground and cafe all of which are very much loved by locals.
    It has already involved thousands of pounds and will cost at least a million on top of that. We all have to pay for it.This rankles the more at a time when so many necessary services for the elderly, disabled, schools, have been slashed, when a fraction of the sum could go towards simple improvements for existing things. Really,if there is a million in a sack to spare, we can all think of better uses for it.
    The question of traffic has never been addressed.
    The locals are being presented with both a done deal and a hard sell.
    Now,what can they say? That we will learn to love the hangar? That we should all be so enchanted by what it contains, sometimes, that the size of the thing is a small price to pay?
    That the huge thing will be so artfully designed that we will not see it? I really want to hear counter arguments to the reality of this colossal thing.
    I couldn’t,care less if it contains an overblown prop boat, a piece of the True Cross or the lost Gold of El Dorado. I do not want this stupid huge development built there.

    • It’s your turn now, Alexis: let’s hear something sensible, positive and constructive from you for a change, the sort of thing you might say if you were ever to stand as a candidate for the council, say:

      “The bargehouse should go in Orleans Gardens because . . “

    • Alexis

      Thanks for that Mr Squire.
      Whilst I can understand his irritation, I suggest a little humility rather than hubris would be more appropriate following his untimely demise as LibDem webmaster. I know he are keen on detail so here are two extracts and two complete posts which I have posted within the last 10 days, all of which he has read and commented on. This is so typical of the nasty LibDem attack dog stuff which put so many people off voting for them, probably cost Mr Squire his job and may well harden the attitude of those who are still undecided about this scheme.

      13. 07. 14
      1. “Finally. I am firmly opposed to the scheme but opposed to the ways of some of those who are opposing it.”
      16. 07. 14
      2. “None of this means that I don’t think that this is a flawed project – it is. Sadly the campaign seems to have been taken over by the wrong people.”
      18. 07. 14
      3. “The various boat clubs between Molesey and Putney are every bit as big if not bigger than this proposed structure and I don’t recall anyone complaining about them. Why not see if there is viable space next to an existing rowing club – Molesey, Leander, TRC and the one near Mortlake Crematorium the name of which I can’t remember. Perhaps even St Pauls in Barnes. Since its a row barge wouldn’t that be more appropriate and acceptable?”
      19. 07. 14
      4. “I wrongly referred to Leander BC which is in Henley rather than Quintin BC which is on the left as you cross Chiswick bridge on the A316 towards London. I know its on the wrong side of the river but its where the boat race finishes and would be a cracking spot for the boat to be housed and on show. Perhaps the boat race sponsors would agree and stump up a bit of cash?”
      There Mr Squire do you think there was anything sensible, positive and constructive? If so, I think you probably owe me and others who are unhappy with the stridency of the campaign an apology.
      Alexis

    • Thank you for making your position clear: you certainly had me fooled into thinking you were still one of Lord True’s acolytes – only a tory or perhaps now a UKIPPER would give a damn about my past role as Lib Dem webmaster.

      The Orleans Garden site was chosen because it was the least unsuitable site of the three evaluated, which were chosen because they belonged to the council. Everywhere else along the river belongs or is let to someone, who is using it for their purposes, and is closely watched by others who would like to get their hands on it for their own ends, usually nowadays to build lots of properties with a river view.

      No chance, I think, of finding a berth for this white elephant among the rowing clubs. Let it go back to Brentford where it was built and there are docks enough.

    • boanerges

      Mr Squire – you are fooling yourself if you think “only a tory or perhaps now a UKKIPER”gives a damn about your past role. If you call hundreds of people “liars” on a public forum, and illustrate it with a young boy making an obscene gesture, folks are likely to remember for years.

    • Alexis

      Well said Boanerges – I am one of those folk and am still awaiting an apology from Mr Squire.
      Alexis

    • Sally

      One much used red herring it to try to divert onto the nature of the objections..that they are too strident, that people are beaten (some interesting fantasies, there) into objecting, that there should be no criticism of any of the assorted Lords and so on. OK. Does anybody on earth believe that if we all meekly fill in our objections, sit respectfully in the council meetings..perhaps with pained expressions, no more than that…don’t engage in any public protest including a children’s party..that it will be enough to get this idiotic idea dropped?
      Lord True said ‘we don’t do things that way’ when faced with audible objections. This begs three questions:

      Does anybody think the enormous hangar is wanted by the vast majority of the people who use the riverside ?
      Does anybody think that mild protest will be enough for Lord True to examine his well-established plans and question his sense of certainty on the pettifogging grounds that it is not wanted by those other than his lordly self.
      Is anyone prepared to be manipulated into stopping vehement protest on the grounds that Lord True or his fans might find it rude, but would listed avidly to polite objections ?

    • Hi Sally, a remarkably good weekend at Orleans. Really interesting to hear of the many objections some based on the pure lack of taste, some horrified that Orleans gardens should have been chosen, others deeply concerned by the number of top executives and costly engineers who were in Orleans to explain the concept to the public.
      How much are we taxpayers paying for their presence?
      So many people coming out from seeing these misleading drawings, not a scale model in sight, eager to help us stop this piece of nonsense.
      I know many people became aware that this is just the start of True, Samuel, Sterling, Foster and at a lower level Chappell’s plan to turn our peaceful, leafy borough into a cheap ‘Kiss Me Quick’ resort. Dear heaven they’ll be sending in the candy floss and whelk sellers next. Imagine rock candy with ‘Twickenham loves True’ running through the centre. This is a gawdy, tasteless exercise in power. They’ll be proposing a statue to True next.
      For me the ‘consultation’ confirmed my worst fears.
      The fight to retain our sleepy green space needs to go up a gear.

    • Alexis

      I’m sorry Sally but I think we must agree to disagree about the stridency of your campaign which Susan Burningham wants to ratchet up a gear. That must be your choice. I have simply offered advice based on experience gained during our campaign to stop the Twickenham Riverside sell-off. We didn’t resort to personal attacks or smears, by contrast the LibDems did – that’s why I keep banging on about the stupid “Liar liar pants on fire” slur which meant they were rattled.
      Chris Squire who seems to be a leading light of your campaign was then LibDem webmaster and must have played a part in its creation and distribution – something he has never confirmed or denied. Thats why I suggested that you should be very wary about allowing any political party or their proxies to get too close to your campaign. The Tories were very supportive of our campaign but played no part in it other than speaking in opposition to the plan at our public meetings.
      Strangely, no LibDem Councillors seem to have leapt to your defence but then, there aren’t many of them any more are there?
      Anyway Sally, its up to you and your chums and I hope you win.
      Alexis.

    • Sally

      Thanks. I very much hope the damn thing can be stopped, and like so many others am appalled. Incidentally,I also was against the riverside sell off.And the strip club Councillor Carr supported putting in the middle of the local shops. Now this.There is no political motive although it would be a great pleasure to see Lord True lose his smug expression.
      It is sometimes hopeless to just quietly remonstrate ,to meekly fill in consultation forms and to hope that awful development plans will then be dropped on the rational grounds that they are loathed, ill thought out and demonstrably going to lead to expense, a poorer quality of life for locals,etc.This development is very clearly about other loyalties . The dissent , any amount of it,is already interpreted as simply misunderstanding based on misinformation and therefore able to be ignored.The very consultation document is so heavily biased as not to allow dissent to be registered.
      So. We have a Council leader hell bent on allowing a huge (Dimensions never disputed) development to be built on a lovely unspoilt, popular piece of riverside land, who is currently in the face of unprecedented opposition saying he wants it there.He plans to push it through planning.
      We can fight this with stridency, with wit, with publicity,with polite letters but fight it we must because without a hell of a fight we will all shortly be looking a a hangar on this spot and Lord True will be photographed cutting the ribbon.

    • James B

      Quite right too.

      Once there is some development on the spot there will be persistent arguments that there should be more, better, development in future. It can only be a question of time before highly desirable, “Riverside”, properties have been erected and the profits lodged in the council’s coffers. The council FAQ section states categorically that this won’t happen (always worrying, that, in that when something is being officially denied it is almost certainly on the table, covertly if not explicitly). Interestingly, in answer to the question of why a straightforward “we don’t want it” option isn’t available on the consultation (The paper version, certainly) it simply said that this wasn’t considered to be necessary. So that’s cleared that one up, then !

      James B

    • Hi James, the traffic and parking survey has to be done as a matter of course for the Planning report however clever and mindful of resident’s views Cllr Susan Chappell thought she was at the meeting on the 9th July. However I think we also need to ask for a survey on river bank erosion given the increase in river traffic. If Lord Sterling is planning to ship in the tourists rather than have them come by road, then that’s where a bank erosion survey needs to be applied. (Do we know by the way who the shareholders are in Sterling’s Companies)?

      But you are right – the shed is massive – actually much worse than I first thought. and I’m with you, I don’t want the blooming great monster in the garden either either.

      As for payment, we are paying right now – those people at the consultation this weekend are top spokesmen – and not cheap. The ongoing expense is still not known – but then there is no business plan, no to-scale-drawings or model.
      I expect Lord True will do his impression of a game show host again at tomorrow’s Council meeting: ‘so nice to see you all, so nice’, As tasteless as his shed.

  21. Jonathan

    The Thames Landscape Strategy papers from 1994 are very informative – back then the Council were considering applying for UNESCO World Heritage Status for this stretch of the river.

    http://thames-landscape-strategy.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1994-local_landscape_Ham.pdf

    If you look at page 12 onwards you can see all the old published policies on this stretch of the river – and rises lots of questions about how they ever thought it was acceptable.

    My feeling is that we should campaign for the area to become a UNESCO World Heritage candidate – the council are currently formulating plans for a river-park so there will be other “treats” is store for other parts of the River. Don’t me mistaken that the river is not just at risk at Orleans Gardens as the council is reviewing the use of ALL the sites next to the river it controls across the borough.

  22. G

    More snippets from the Gloriana road show…… Talking to the lady from Foster and Partners it seems that one idea that’s been muted is that other historical/river crafts if interest may also use this boathouse when Gloriana is away.
    Now I may well be wrong but I seem to remember that one of the reasons for keeping Gloriana in a boathouse was for ease of repair and maintenance? If this is correct, and I’m pretty sure it was a reason, how long before other craft have works carried out on them in this giant boathouse.
    I’m also pretty sure that the covenants on the land state that only a boat storage house or a greenhouse are permitted, I would doubt very much if any industrial use would be. My fear is that this proposed giant shed becomes a workplace in the future, I could not get any verbal assurances that it wouldn’t, only a shrug of the shoulders and a “very unlikely”!