TWAP Update: Twickenham Town Square Gets Closer

Water Lane site, Twickenham

Water Lane site, Twickenham

Twickenham hasn’t always made best use of its Thames-side location. It’s perfectly possible to pass through the town without realising that the main drag passes just 100 metres from the river. That looks set to change with the Council’s acquisition of the large site on the corner of Water Lane and King Street currently occupied by Santander, Superdrug and M&Co. It’s a TWAP* thing, of course. The plan is to redevelop the site to create a ‘town square’ at the top of Water Lane, provide better access to the river and the Diamond Jubilee Gardens (possibly including some kind of outdoor performance space), and create a mixed use development incorporating retail outlets and residential properties. Sounds good. What’s not to like?

Council supremo Lord True, aka the Blue Baron, said, “The separation of Twickenham Town from the historic riverside, that was so critical to the development of the area, has long been regretted by local people, and led to wide spread under appreciation of the quality of the unique place. By acquiring the properties, the Council is fulfilling a promise to enable the creation of a new heart and square for Twickenham that will unite town and river again”. Cue air punching and stirring music.

There will be those who point out that spending millions on a scheme like this may not be the best use of public money in these straitened times. They have a point. But, a creatively designed, well-built scheme that links the town’s shopping area to the river and which includes some commercial development to cover costs could be a major asset to the town. And therein lies the crux of the issue for some. One person’s ‘creative design’ is another’s carbuncle. One person’s ‘appropriate amount of commercial development’ is another’s ruination of a prized asset. Most will agree that public space and access to the river need to be at the heart of this project not something tacked on to some developers’ plan for packing in luxury riverside flats. It’s going to be a difficult balancing act to get it right. As the Baron goes on to say, “This could be a lasting legacy for generations.” No pressure there then.

El Brute are hoping that some of the country’s brightest and best architects will be prepared to put forward ideas as part of a design competition. That sounds like an interesting starting point. We assume that after last summer’s Gloriana Boathouse Drama, Norman Foster won’t be rushing his top team down to Twickenham any time soon. Good luck to those that put themselves forward.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned to twickerati for more TWAP news as and when it happens.

Car Park, Twickenham

Car Park behind Santander, Twickenham

* El Brute press release

* TWAP = Twickenham Action Plan or, as the Council continue to insist on calling it, the Twickenham Area Action Plan


Filed under Council, Local Issues & News, Twickenham Action Plan

97 responses to “TWAP Update: Twickenham Town Square Gets Closer

  1. Am closing this thread to new comments because it keeps getting diverted to off topic matters which is a shame. Sorry about that to the majority of readers who want to discuss the subject of the article. Obviously if people want to set up their own discussion forum to discuss off-topic matters including party politics they are, of course, very welcome to do so. And, as I have offered before, if people want to exchange email addresses to continue their correspondence in private, I am very happy to facilitate that.

    It’s great that people want to comment on articles and discuss Twickenham. I try not to censor comments or close threads to new ones but keeping this site accessible and inviting to all people in Twickenham is my priority. One of the reasons I stopped spending so much time on another website and set up twickerati in the first place was that it came to be dominated by a small clique which was off-putting to new joiners. And I say that as someone who was a ‘fringe member’ of that clique (I think).

    So, please accept my sincere apologies to anyone inconvenienced by this but… seriously.

  2. Ben Makins

    Just came back to look at this thread and saw that it got a bit heated! I read and article recently about how Frome in Somerset is having a go at a different way of running its Council, via Independents for Frome. It’s based on “localism” and trying to work on the basis of people trying to work out the best response to local issues based on what they can agree on rather than what divides them, albeit on a small scale. Have a look at . Could this work for ‘nam, or even RuT? Anyone interested in getting someone up from Frome to chat about how it works…or doesn’t work?

    • Ben,
      I have tried this both within Richmond United Group (RUG) and as an Independent, it is very difficult.There is a good example of this locally in Molesey, where residents associations are the vehicle and they have elected Councillors, but even there, they just lost the Council in the last election.
      I joined UKIP because they are committed this; to really putting residents first, using Direct Democracy.
      This is not a sham, I have been involved with local democracy for the last 15 years, go to the following link to see campaigns I have been involved with.
      I can confirm that this is a real commitment and I will personally ensure that this will happen, I am the UKIP Parliamentary candidate for UKIP.
      The information put in the press regarding UKIP is an attempt by the other parties to stop people being able to influence the decision making in your local area, because they are scared of losing their control over you.
      Representative Democracy, where a Councillor or MP makes decision on your behalf is not working, the only way forward is Direct Democracy. Please go to the following link to understand the difference.
      I will be arranging a meeting after Christmas in Twickenham on this subject and will post the details here when the dates and venue are confirmed.
      Merry Christmas to all in this post.

    • Sally

      I have the weary sense that, no matter what the topic under discussion-new school, pigeon feeding,icing on Greggs eclairs, whatever, Mr Edwards will be weighing in with something along the lines of:
      All the negative stuff you read about UKIP is part of a press/other parities/ estabilshment/EU(!) conspiracy
      Nobody will care about you like the trustworthy folk of my party
      its all the migrant’s fault
      I really enjoy the debates on Twickerati and learn a lot of interesting things, but the UKIP clumsy electioneering is a heartsink.

    • Well Sally,

      I like what you said the other day, it made sense, but why do you say this? Aren’t you placing yourself into the same political trap trying to trivialize matters by accusing UKIP of this joke that “pigeon feeding and Gregg’s eclairs are EU migration issues”? This indeed is becoming weary-some, why can’t the actual facts and the issues be debated, rather than this nonsense. Isn’t this just another attempt to discredit some good people who want to solve our country’s problems?

      The real issue is that I have grown up and seen during my entire lifetime like everyone else, the Lib Dems, Tories and Labour saying one thing and doing another, what is trustworthy about that? They are all the same and the public are fed up with these lies.

      Yes we might not be a slickest political party, you can’t expect that from a young party, but no-one wants that false, image based politics anymore, UKIP are just normal people that are getting involved to try and fix a Britain that the other parties have broken and if that means a few “teething” pains, then so be it. Frankly I’m only interested in the truth and solutions.

      Here are the facts, go and have a look. Not UKIP, but the Office of National Statistics say the population is growing because of EU migration and yes this does have consequences:

      UK Office Of National Statistic (verification of figures)–england-and-wales–scotland-and-northern-ireland/2013/sty-population-changes.html

      And David Attenborough also says that over-population is causing the stresses on society and the natural world. The economy, NHS, schools, jobs etc do not exist in isolation, they are actually part of the environment. They are physical items in the environment, for instance, if you build more houses, you have less open space, it is a physical reality.

      This is the truth that the other parties have failed to address. Yes the EU migration has wide reaching implications, but please let’s have the real facts to demonstrate who is really working in the interest of the general public.

    • Sally

      i rather think Mr Edwards has just proved my point.

    • Sally,

      If you don’t care about the future of Twickenham, or the country please say so, because I do and no end of sniping will change this. Why not examine the issues. Ask something constructive, to find out what I think and I will give you the same courtesy. Tell me your party, reveal your identity, I have nothing to hide and we could discuss the benefits and failings of both our approaches; isn’t that how an honest open minded debate is supposed to work? Or is Twickerati just here to reinforce bigotry?

      Anyway, I’m only going to handle facts, I have given you the links, please examine them and reply if you wish to have a proper debate. Oh I have one very interesting parting fact for you. The Greens today overtook the Lib Dems in the National polls; that makes the Lib Dems now 5th.

    • dellboy

      the real facts you talk about are in the past.To use an exponential curve to predict the future is stupid and immature.
      With any growth there will be a saturation point, there are only so many cars you can build, so many roads to use them , people with jobs to earn the money to buy them, so many houses for them to live in, etc.etc.
      Every party claims they have the answer,after the election what happens, it all stays the same or worse.
      If a political party had the right answers thing would be better than they are now, they are not.
      Don’t tell us things are wrong, tell us how you are going to make things right, better than the others.

    • Anonymous

      You are conflating two separate issues Barry. Over-population which is a Malthusian special interest group with an agenda tied to ‘Agenda 21’ and now largely discredited. OPT (optimum population trust) of which David Attenborough is a prominent member. etc.
      Immigration to these shores is another issue creating pressure on resources in certain parts of the country and involves ‘push and pull’ factors and connected to economic and sovereignty factors. Sovereignty perhaps being the most significant.
      Two separate things.

    • Alexis

      Nothing to do with TWAP, but for once, I would like to stand beside Sally who gave Barry Edwards UKIP the benefit of the doubt in her post of Dec 9th and stood up for him when I declined to accept his sham olive branch. Good for her, but I bet she is rethinking her decision in the light of his two most recent posts! Even for an oddball political wannabe with 25 years experience, as he keeps telling us, he seems to be a very strange choice for UKIP to waste their deposit.

      Even more tellingly, hotshot LibDem Councillor Gareth Roberts has virtually ignored him on his twitter stuff, concentrating all his attention on Dr Tania Mathias who may well be a threat to Vince. C’llr Roberts seems to be the local LibDem media warrior. Although he is a somewhat tiresome adherent to the party line, he writes well and is often humorous.

      Something for Mr Edwards to think about before his public meeting in January – perhaps? He might also like to think about the points raised by anonymous and dellboy, both of whom appear to be pretty well versed in the arcane world of political debate and may well attend. If so, that should be fun!

  3. dellboy

    OK, the council have gone about this in the wrong order
    A scheme and budget should have been approved, then submissions from interested architects reviewed.
    It would appear this council has set up it’s working practices so it can take a vague election promise of to improve and enhance. Then run it through a cabinet meeting, like the gloriana fiasco, not asking for approval to spend six million, by saying it will go ahead with the scheme to “improve” King street and the riverside.
    No mention of any further costs because there are no architects plans to work on.
    These councillors are out of control.

    • Quite agree, the Councillors are out of control, that’s why it would be useful to have an MP that was not Lib Dem or Tory to scrutinize what they are doing. There was one important step you forgot within your excellent timeline, the residents should have been asked at the beginning, if they actually thought the idea was any good and what features the architects should consider, within any brief which could lead to drawings. I think putting people first people means asking want the public want, before anything happens.

  4. Ex-Twickenham Resident

    Glad to see all is going on as usual in Twick. Alexis getting himself in hot water, a UKIP PPB and the continuing saga of a town hall. Would be surprised if UKIP hold their deposit in the GE for Twickenham. Vince to hold Twick with ease!

    • Alexis is not in hot water, just misunderstood something I said, then commented rather clumsily, now I know who Alexis is, all is forgiven.
      UKIP to lose deposit? I don’t think so 25% in national polls at the moment and growing. And all the candidates in Twickenham will have to discuss their case well, no easy rides for anyone anymore. The collapse of the Lib Dems across the country is related to them joining the Tories and their lack of a sensible policy on a range of issues, including their confusion over what migration and immigration are and how they are significantly different. But more importantly how their approach is going to destroy all of our open space in the Borough, which will be in the press shortly. Have a look at where this migration or immigration is accurately explained. For the Lib Dems and Tories to have a sensible and fair policy it must be one policy for all. They have an unfair and biased duality policy at the moment, what will they do to change this?

    • Alexis

      As requested by Twickerati who asked us to get back to the subject and stop squabbling, I have refrained from responding to the further provocation from Barry Edwards of UKIP and Sally of I know not where or what, however, I hope other readers will respect my continued silence.
      It isn’t easy!

    • A mutual RUG friend has told me who you are, I will discuss this misunderstanding with you, no doubt in due course, when I see you next. You really did get the wrong end of the stick with what I said. Anyway, as you said, let’s get back to saving Twickenham !!

    • Alexis

      Lets skip the discussion Mr Edwards – we both know it was not a misunderstanding so best you concentrate on your hopes of saving your deposit in May 2015.
      This sort of behaviour does nothing to improve your prospects any more than it did in the Council elections of 2010 as a Tory in Teddington and as a UKIPer in Twickenham Riverside in 2014 – they certainly didn’t see you as the person to save Twickenham!

    • Alexis, Only you don’t understand it was a misunderstanding, maybe my RUG colleague was wrong about who you are, the man I used to know certainly would not have been so aggressive. Anyway Twickerati was right, about moving on and back on the trail of a better Twickenham and let’s hope that there are no more personal remarks or snipes.

    • Alexis

      Jolly good, Barry. Why don’t we just agree to disagree? After all you are losing votes which you can ill afford and I am testing my loyal band of supporters to the limit with this sort of pointless spat. What more do you want? Blood and tears!
      I think the 250 or so who voted for you in Twickenham Riverside had a lucky escape – clearly the vast majority made the right call.
      PS: Enough of this nonsense – I’ve had enough and I’m sure everyone else has as well.

    • Glad that’s over, maybe now we can move on and talk about Twickenham.

  5. Kingfisher

    Great news! Anything that opens up the gorgeous riverside of Twickenham for folk to see and enjoy is a plus in my book!

  6. The community has already been consulted in 2010 and the vast magority, as stated within the “Barefoot” consultation, wanted the plan below. As usual the Lib Dems, Conservative and Labour party’s have not listened. The Town Square was voted to be on the waterfront, for the full plan go to:

    • NS

      That’d be “parties”, Barry, don’t UKIP stand for the Queen’s English and high standards in education?

    • Hi NS – They stand for being non-discriminatory and to allow people from a wide variety of educational backgrounds, countries and races to be part of the party. My colleague standing in Richmond Park is of British Asian ethnicity.Your right, I don’t come from a privileged background and only just got into university and managed, through a great deal of personal sacrifice, to get a very good degree, even though I have dyslexia. So your remark was discriminatory under the Equalities Act 2010 and you can look forward to a lot more typos in future, because no matter how hard one tries, dyslexia can only be manage not cured. I don’t know who you think you are talking too, but I am just a normal bloke, so please don’t be rude again.

    • NS

      You are right, it was rude and I am sorry. But I do despair of the way in which debate about improving our area so quickly splits along party lines. My frustration led me to make a snarky comment which was ill considered.

    • NS – I thank you and I’m sorry if I seemed a little sensitive on the subject, but I have had this all my life and yes I will have many such comments during the next few months no doubt. I really do my best to ensure I practice coping strategies for this handicap and I am grateful that you are an honest and reasonable person. I very much agree that this and many other matters can get divided along party lines and the playground politics then gets in the way of rational debate. However I have not got involved in politics to be a part of that, I have done my local community apprenticeship. I was and still am up until May 2015, the strategic officer for Richmond United Group (RUG). I was responsible for interrupting the Twickenham Riverside development and I have been active with many other community groups. My interest is to promote local democracy and bring common sense to local government. I have a simple view, “give the people the right to decide and there will be no wrong”. Politicians should only be elected on the basis that they are the right person to administer local people’s choices. The whole Town Square debate was settled in 2010 (I left the link in another post), but the Tories and the Lib Dems do keep producing something they want, rather than what the people choose. I hope to change this.

    • illiad1

      NO SIGN of water lane development there…

    • Nope, this is another example of the community agreeing one thing and it being absolutely clear to the Council what that is, then the Council doing something completely different. There needs to be political and administrative accountability.brought to bare.

    • illiad1

      Lets hope… 🙂 any idea how we can replace lord true with your good self??? 😀

    • Everyone supporting UKIP in 2018. However the idea at the moment is to speed up getting you democracy and placing the power in your hands, by changing the law in Parliament, so that you get referenda on all important local matters. I would like to ensure, as Twickenham’s MP, that the people’s voice is implemented after each referendum. I am planning a meeting in January to start the ball rolling, I will post when the date is finalized.

    • Alexis

      I’m quite intrigued by the sudden flurry of posts from Barry Edwards. Not only is he UKIP’s PPC for Twickenham, he is also Deputy chair of the Friends of Radnor Gardens, a group who have hopes of installing a pontoon for a ferry to run across to Ham. I think it’s an excellent idea and posted the link to encourage those with appropriate skills to get in touch with FoRG so I was surprised that his several posts amounted to lots of UKIP puff and a mini-spat with NS which is now sorted but no mention whatsoever of the ferry idea.
      Any thoughts about it Mr Edwards?

    • Hi Alexis,
      No sudden flurry, I was introduced to Twickerati, no doubt by a mutual colleague and I think it is a useful medium for local discussion replacing the lost Oncom website. It is wonderful that you are promoting the Friends of Radnor Gardens and the hopes for the pontoon. No doubt in time you will let the Twickerati know who’s vision it was and provide details about your true identity, so you can accept some credit, for the keen insight you have shown to be able to support the idea so easily.
      No UKIP puff, or spat with NS, just facts about the local area from someone that has been involved for over 25 years and a minor disagreement between, what I now hope, are new friends. (And yes you can be assured that unfortunately there maybe sometimes errors in written presentation, but never in factual content).
      The pontoon idea is a wonder and I urge everyone to get involved, please contact Friends of Radnor Gardens at:
      I certainly will also be promoting Twickerati as a very useful community communication resource. Oncom is very missed and I can only give credit to Twickerati for this site and its moderation.

    • Alexis

      What a bizarre series of posts from Mr Edwards. First his spat with NS about his “written presentation” and subsequent justification of dyslexia. Tough! Our youngest daughter also suffered from a similar learning problem – cross-lateral vision, but, with help, she also went to Uni, got on with her life and never ever whinged or used it as a cop-out as Mr Edwards has done here – repeatedly. She is now highly successful in the retail industry where inter-personal and communication skills are essential. Aren’t those the skills and personal resilience you need to demonstrate if you want to be elected as MP for Twickenham, Barry?

      Since I went out of my way to promote the Radnor Gardens ferry idea, which I thought was excellent, I was dumbfounded to be rewarded with this bit of snide nastiness from Mr Edwards:
      “It is wonderful that you are promoting the Friends of Radnor Gardens and the hopes for the pontoon. No doubt in time you will let the Twickerati know who’s vision it was and provide details about your true identity, so you can accept some credit, for the keen insight you have shown to be able to support the idea so easily.”

      What on earth have I said to or about him, or done to deserve that? I play no part whatsoever within FoRG and was unaware of the ferry plan until a newsletter dropped through my door with an item inviting support for the idea from the chair C’llr Clare Head.

      I fear Mr Edwards has a long way to go to win over hearts, minds and votes and, so far, appears woefully inept at doing so.

    • Alexis, I am absolutely stunned but your response. First its “tough” to all dyslexics!!! It is a difficult condition and when NS became aware of this, he was very sympathetic of this disability, its not a “cop out”, As mentioned I have been to university, I am successful and can easily communicate. The reason it was mentioned in the first place was only because I was pulled up on my spelling and grammar, which I don’t believe should be the principal criteria for becoming and MP and I wanted people to know, so they could understood the odd mistake here and there. Would you have disqualified David Blunkett for being blind?

      In your promotion of the Pontoon, whether you know it or not, you did give the impression that you were associated with the project and if you read my post from that perspective and in the context that I would have then know you, you will find it was actually a compliment, not an insult. This is the trouble with people withholding their names on forums. No insult intended or made…

      Finally, I am not in politics to woe over hearts and minds, that kind of superficial politics is way society got to be in a mess, that whole approach “aren’t I nice, vote for me”!! Words can be cheap. No, I’m in it because the system is broken and I would like to help fix it. If I get votes because of my actions when wonderful , if not so be it, people will get more of the same old Lib Dem and Tory manipulation. I was one of the organizers of the RUG campaign, my deeds speak for themselves.

      I know that to make an omelette you have to break eggs, well the the eggs are now broke, ask me something else in the coming months to see if I can cook? Putting the identify confusion and your criticism of dyslexics to one side, on this actual topic discussed, we are in full agreement that supporting Radnor Gardens pontoon is a good idea. Let’s see what happens on the next post?

    • Alexis

      In the interest of others I will be brief.
      I have to agree with Mr Edwards when he says that “the (political) system is broken”, however, given this tirade, I’m not sure he is the one to “help fix it”‘ as he puts it.
      If anyone is interested in helping with the ferry/pontoon idea but reluctant to contact Mr Edwards, could I suggest contacting C’llr Clare Head, the Chair which might be a more productive conversation. Despite his somewhat weird response, I’m just a messenger so please don’t shoot me! As to the rest of his post, I leave others to make their own judgement now and on May 15th 2015, unsurprisingly I have already made mine.
      PS: I did not criticize dyslexics, after all, my daughter is one, only those like Mr Edwards who use it as an excuse which she has never done.

    • Also in the interest of brevity, there are only 2 types of people in this world builders and destroyers. I have found this whole string very negative.

      If the system is broken, you surely must realize, that no-one else has offered, or is going to help fix it; so making personal remarks about me, will only perpetuate the same old “playground politics” that everyone has had to put up with for the last 30 years.

      Your p.s. really!! this post has been reported.
      “PS: I did not criticize dyslexics, after all, my daughter is one, only those like Mr Edwards who use it as an excuse which she has never done”. Alexis 8/12/14.
      Dyslexia is not an excuse, what you have said is discriminatory, please don’t reply to my posts anymore, unless it is an apology.

    • Alexis

      Keep digging the hole Barry – it’s getting deeper with every tap of your keyboard.
      PS: I look forward to hearing from those to whom you have reported my postscript
      PPS: You are joking about the apology – aren’t you?

    • Alexis

      Mr Edwards,
      Please let me know which body you have reported the dyslexia discrimination to which you refer in your post of 08.12.14 timed at 14.25, so I can prepare my defence.
      Thank you

    • Actually, it’s probably fair to say that the majority of people reading this would be happy to see the subject dropped or, if it can’t be dropped for whatever reason, taken up as a direct email exchange which, in the interests of everybody else on here, I would be happy to facilitate. Thanks.

    • I don’t think its the subject. But if we have to have a new topic, can I suggest slightly changing this one allowing ONLY positive posts on, “what we can do to improve Twickenham” and if there are any negative posts Twickerati can see the culprit and boot them off. No forum should allow personal remarks, or snipes.

    • The ‘subject’ being referred to in my previous post being dyslexia etc rather than the principle of a town square (which is what this item is supposed to be about).

    • michelangelo

      Mr Edwards glosses over the fact that the “election time” he writes about is a General Election ie to decide whom voters wish to govern them nationally for the next five years. This thread is about Twickenham Town Centre, and is a purely local matter. Mr Edwards had a go at the local elections last May, and these will not recur for the next three and a half years. I suggest he keeps his national politicking for another outlet

    • michelanglo, This is the Constituency of Twickenham and your local MP should be just that local. Although for a long time Twickenham has been ignored by its MP,. this maybe why the Town has so many problems. I am committed to helping local people, both Nationally and locally.

    • Sally

      Its obvious that Mr Edwards was trying to be friendly, perhaps even flattering and ingratiating towards Alexis when he praised any involvement he/she might have with the pontoon idea, and that he/she then assumed it was a spiteful attack and responded in kind. In this instance there was clearly no need to react like that. I loathe UKIP and would rather see a jam doughnut elected Prime Minister than any of that party be given any position of power on any level. However, the man was clearly not attacking.
      Now, could we go back to what is planned for the riverside?

    • Yes Sally, you are completely accurate with your conclusions about my post to Alexis, I was being kindly and play-fall, all taken the wrong way, never mind. However not so sure how to came to loathe UKIP. I have been in the other parties, UKIP are cute and cuddly compared to what I experienced within the Conservatives, albeit from only a few misguided senior Tories, but they are in control. As for the LIb Dems, they are universally hated by all parties because of the “Yellow Book” produced for the campaign methods to be used. Don’t beleive me, get a copy if you can, it will change your whole perception of all the people in that party. I voted LIb Dem when I was younger, until I saw that book.

    • boanerges

      Twickerati: the tenor of this thread has now changed from an interesting view of a proposed Council scheme to what appears to be overt political campaigning. I don’t mind the latter, as it is a sign of a healthy democracy, but there is a time and a place! Suggest not here and now

    • Then where and when? I have been involved with this for 10 years now irrespective of politics, stopping the “housing scheme” on the riverside, being involved in the Barefoot consultation where the Town Sq was first put forward as the “Peoples Plan”, but elections do seem to be the only time to get things done. They don’t listen at any other time, so why not make it an election issue and really get your voice heard?

    • Ananke

      Instead of the personal slights, grandstanding and waffling about unnecessary, unwanted and expensive schemes like town squares, pontoons and ferries, repaving the town with York stone, 20mph speed restrictions and boat houses for royal barges, why don’t the local politicos, councillors and prospective parliamentary candidates get the Council to do something really useful for a change?
      -Like repair the potholes in the roads, clean the mess off the streets properly, relocate the bus stops to useful locations back in King Street, restrict the ugly over-development of Twickenham, or encourage independent retailers to open sustainable shops in the town instead of the second-rate bars and fast food joints just hoping to make a quick buck on rugby match days?
      Let’s be honest, despite there being people with money in Twickenham, the town centre is looking pretty down-at-heel these days compared to other small areas in West London like Teddington, Turnham Green, Chiswick High Road or Northcote Road in Battersea.
      Ask yourself why the more desirable retailers set up in those areas but shy away from Twickenham.

    • Ananke, I’m up for that, sounds like a plan, just what Twickenham needs. I have asked myself that question many times and the only answer that keeps coming to mind is that the elected representative of whatever party that has been in office for the last 30 years, so far have not had a clue how to achieve making Twickenaham attractive, or it would have been done. I know how it works, I have run businesses for the last 25 years. You ask what people want (your request is very clear and would benefit the town immensely) then you put in place the way and means to do it, then you get it done. Its not rocket science. What you suggest is good common sense, its what I would do.

  7. TW1-Person

    Let’s hope they have the common sense to put the Public Square part down by the river where the air is a little cleaner than up next to the road. Am I asking to much?

  8. illiad1

    The RTT has it here.. *someone* had 6 Million kept safe away from the council!! .. :O :O

    Next question.. WHERE with 5 miles, is there a ‘town square’ that is bordering on a highly used high street??? No I dont mean a ‘green’ or one surrounded by high buildings!!
    and until it appears here, it will be just fantasy…

    • Ananke

      Is this more grandstanding from our illustrious council leader?
      With £6 million why not build some affordable homes and improve the run-down and potholed roads of Twickenham instead of demolishing two useful shops and a bank to make an open space?
      Mind you it’s a shrewd move by the council as they will have a land asset they can borrow against and sell off to property developers when they want.
      And yes unfortunately like a lot of people have been saying, Twickenham is becoming a bit of a dump these days. 😦

    • Sally

      It is very noticable that anybody asking where the money will come from gets a lot of thumbs down. Seems a reasonable question.
      Given all Lord True’s recent development schemes for Twickenham have involved a developers deal, it also seems reasonable to worry what the deal will be to finance this wheeze.
      Yesterday there was a meeting at which Council representatives explained that they were going to slash transport services for disabled children. No money you see.Now you see it, now you don’t!

    • Alexis

      Sally might like to reflect on the fact that she, Illiad and Ananke are the only posters to have received multiple thumbs down on this topic. Could it be that she is mistaken in her assumption that this has something to do with “where the money will come from” rather than their relentless political stuff? I have been equally guilty of castigating the last LibDem administration for their arrogant misgovernance of our borough and have received my fair share of thumbs down without a single whinge. Sally might also like to reflect on the fact that LibDem Lourie’s attempt to sell off the Twickenham Riverside was only stymied by his chosen developer’s demise. That was to be his legacy to us – weren’t we lucky and thank goodness for the RUG campaign!

      On a more positive note, I’m very pleased to note sensible posts from Ben Makins, someone who knows what he is talking about, since, apart from being known to me, he organised the first music festival in Radnor Gardens several years ago – sadly it was such a success that it had to move to Strawberry Hill House and no longer has quite the same “joie de vivre”. I hope that our councillors will seek his advice about the proposed town square which seems an excellent concept.

    • Sally

      As it happens, I am not a lib dem and fought against the riverside development.We do ask, again, how will the money be found, we do wonder about whether a developer’s deal might be suggested to pay for it, and in my case, given a fraction of the 6 million would save transport for disabled children-not to mention a host of other local services for the vulnerable- I’d rather the money was divided up a little.
      Still, we’re back to “Lord True can do no wrong and if you think otherwise you must be..a Lib Dem!” No.

      Alexis could have a go at answering the questions instead of going off into Mccarthyite sniping.

    • dellboy

      Alexis, you are a total hypocrite.
      You go on about political bias yet bang on at lourie and the lib dems.
      You ask others to move on but not yourself.
      If the 6 million is from our reserves, could it be better used on more needy projects and could we have a say in this.
      If the money has to be borrowed, once again we need to have a choice.

    • Ananke

      Sorry but I have no idea who Alexis is and what political affiliations he or she may have.
      Can you enlighten us please?

    • Alexis

      Ouch! – speak your mind Dellboy – I already feel as though I have been suitably admonished by my headteacher, although I think Sally’s reference to McCarthyism is a bit strong – here’s a definition:
      “the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.”
      Since I tend to encourage dissent and political criticism I’m not at all sure that’s a fair comment. Also, I do wish she would stop banging on with her personality thing about Lord True aka The Blue Baron.
      Could I remind both of these posters to re-read these few words from Twickerati’s intro to this site – “It contains news, comment, ill-informed opinion and occasional humour…” Unfortunately some seem incredibly thin skinned and get very jumpy when challenged – however ill-informed the opinion or light the touch.

      Now, on to more positive river related things. Since I wrote about the first Radnor Gardens music festival, I hear that FoRG – (Friends of Radnor Gardens) are exploring the possibility of installing a pontoon for a ferry to run across to Ham Lands. They have formed a working party and would welcome input from anyone with appropriate skills – perhaps there are some of you out there who also think this is a great idea? – if so why not comment or contact the Friends if you can help –
      PS: Sorry but I have no idea who Ananke is and what political affiliations he or she may have. Can anyone enlighten us please?

    • illiad1

      Hey, its not the *plans* I mind.. 🙂
      IF these had been published, with full details on the planning website, then at least we would know what was happening, and know where we stand…
      And might even LOVE them… 🙂

      Now its lovely to have a nice vision of twickenham, and dream how much better it could be…

      BUT how about *actually* walking round, take off your rose-tinted specs, and realise that there are hard ugly realities, That the promise of a ‘nice rose garden’ will not magically clean up the streets, make roads good to use, and all the other stuff…:( 😦

      It is the blatant ‘lord of the manor’ approach, ‘I have bought the lot’ that irks..

    • dellboy

      Michelangelo to 5 are mission statements
      To improve, enhance,achieve,conserve etc. these are non specific, no actual details.
      I think vague is reasonable.

    • boanerges

      Sally writes in her Dec 3 posting “we do ask again how the money will be found..”. Whom is it she has asked before? Is it someone who might know the answer ie someone in the Council? Or is she expecting one of the correspondents here to reply (obviously such would not have adequate information to answer the question) Or perhaps it is a rhetorical question?
      If she has a definitive reply, please share.

    • michelangelo

      Illiad – please hold your horses. There is no specific “plan” for the proposed Town Square as yet. If you read the Council Press Release, it is made quite clear this concept is to be put to several architects, each presumably to work up within the context of the TAAP

    • illiad1

      erm, quote from this article..
      “The plan is to redevelop the site to create a ‘town square’ at the top of Water Lane, provide better access to the river and the Diamond Jubilee Gardens ”
      quote from ‘ El Brute press release’ link above..
      “A number of properties in the heart of Twickenham have now been purchased for a possible new Town Square as part of the Council’s plans to redevelop King Street. ”
      So the council can just wander in and ‘buy off’ a property with only a vague Idea of what they are going to do with it??

    • michelangelo

      Illiad: the ideas are not “vague”. See TAAP paras to .5, and what the architects are being asked to do (in the Press Release)

    • Sally

      I am asking because I can’t find anything in the various documents about funding for any development on the site.There may well be lots of info on this somewhere, I just can’t find it.So I guess it isn’t a rhetorical question-some keen eyed Twickerati person may have found the answer.

    • illiad1

      michelangelo: If you want an example of ‘not being vague’ I direct you to this address… 🙂
      I don’t remember anyone saying ” we have bought it for X amount” , *years* before the permission appeared…
      Can anyone with longer memory help?? 🙂

  9. Sally

    A pretty ice rink, pool or open space would be fantastic-its just that the council insist they have no money and so are forced to slash services to the vulnerable and skimp on street cleaning and so on. Begs the question-who will pay for this? How? And what will the development deal be? You have to excuse some apprehension-look at the developments of the station, or post office site,. In each one it was presented that the only way for the site to be done up was to allow a kindly developer a piece of the action.(Why the heck is Lord True never wanting to build developments anywhere else? )
    Trevor Bayliss had a nice idea of a simple memorial in the park next to the proposed development to remember the watermen and their families who were killed in WW2 bombing. Whart struck me about it was that Mr B was entirely thinking about our area and a modest project which would be really connected to our history.Nothing grandiose, no deals and no luxury housing!

  10. The car-park and formless buildings really are a sad and ugly waste of Arcadia. Glad to hear about the plans for renewal.

  11. David

    While no fan of some of the council’s antics, I think in principle this is a great idea. I lived in Hammersmith when they did up Lyric Square into this kind of multi-use area, and it made a huge difference (nicer shops, better feel to the space) – and they didn’t have the river at the end of it.

    I’m actually a bit taken aback by some of the whinging I’ve read about it (see the RTT story, for example). It’s almost like the default mode round these parts is just to moan about any form of development – while simultaneously moaning about what a dump Twickenham is becoming.

    The loss of this building is a good thing. And it’s not like Twickenham town centre is short of empty retail space for the three businesses to move into (though of course the council should help them move).

    • illiad1

      well would you call Hammersmith a nice pace to live in???
      I guess you love lots of big traffic all day and night, a huge flyover, big building work going on, you seem to have forgotten there IS a river, if you venture past the flyover.. and a new housing estate just along from that – a snip for your average millionaire…

    • David

      Um, yes actually, I would call Hammersmith a nice place to live (Ravenscourt Park, Brook Green, Brackenbury Rd). That’s why it costs so much to live there.

      In fact, Hammersmith and Twickenham have a few similarities – a grotty, very long high street with an overabundance of retail space, million-pound houses just round the corner, plus (until recently) a Tory-run council prone to over-reach.

      On this occasion, however, I think the council has spotted a real opportunity to do something positive.

    • illiad1

      Of course you mention the NICE parts.. Just like saying Strawberry hill is very nice part of twickenham!!!
      Why are people saying twickenham ‘has become a dump’ when they seem to be too busy to moan, and too lazy to get out and walk??
      just walk down church road, and you will soon find some good sights by the riverside…

  12. Rickytwicky

    I hear that there are plans to erect a large column in the middle of the square. Who will be honoured on top of it?

  13. illiad1

    while you are at it, why not just put the glorianna there???? 😀 😀

    It will be even less successful than trying to put a LIDL in twickenham…
    (you know, part of twickenham that’s ten yards from richmond bridge??? LOL )

    Cutting off your whole leg (it just gets in the way….) is far more effective than demolishing three good businesses, to get a piece of land that does NOT generate revenue, will not be used for more than half the year(how much is jubilee gardens used??), and will provide another place for rugby crowds to mess up…

    • Sally

      Its a nice idea. The buildings are ugly, although I do like the harmless shops in them which seemed to be doing fine and actually selling things of use. The council are using the same rhetoric about this space as was used for the sorting office site, station and you-know-what-ianna.Which is a bit of a heartsink. New phrases needed.

      We have a problem with all public spaces around here-that the Council can’t or won’t fund extra resources to clean, secure and care for whatever it is. They have been pretty clear at many public meetings that there just aren’t the funds to extend what’s already done. This is especially a problem because of the huge crowds regularly passing through Twickenham, yet is amazing how often development plans ignore this aspect of the area.

      I think better to have a modest proposal and ring fenced funds to clean, secure etc it than a grandiose proposal which will have the usual problems with mess, roisterers etc. Could we hope for some thought about the history of that area? The watermen? The (still there) music hall?

    • An indoor swimming pool in a small complex with an area at the entrance for a few indoor/outdoor food/retail units? Leading onto Jubilee Gardens in the Summer. No need to clear up rugby/general detritus, and people would use it.

    • Sally

      That’s a really good idea.

    • Anonymous

      or space for the ice-rink?

    • illiad1

      well if you have a few billion to change the ‘ugly buildings’ please do so… :/
      and remember the ugly buildings that will be built round the station!! 😡

      ‘public spaces’ have a bad history all round the country.. remember the ‘Olympic park’ that was built up north as a celebration??? its now sitting derelict…

      Too often MPs seem more like a kid playing with their ‘Lego city’ set.. looks pretty, then forgotten about, and left to rot.. 😦

    • Sally

      Good point-I have missed a chapter here-when was it announced that there was enough in the coffers to demolish and build on the site?
      I once complained to the council about the state of the seats/phone box/ pavement outside M and Co which can be pretty revolting-no fault of the M and Co staff who keep their bit sparkilng , its just the bit the council is meant to clean. Back came the answer-there are no funds and so no plans to clean the patch any more than it is. If so-if there isn’t the money for a new street sweeper, how on earth will any big development be paid for? And it would be a Lord True development. No, I’ve gone off it…

    • illiad1

      to say nothing about tons of cash for *lovely* york stone, and the manpower and equipment needed to cut it up to fit on the pavement…

      and weeks later its all dirtied up by the usual stuff.. what a pity..

    • Ananke

      Gloriana? What’s happened there then? I’d forgotton about all that nonsense. Where is the old tub now then?
      How about putting a statue of The Blue Baron on the top of the column? He can cast a dissaproving eye over the drinkers and wasters that will congregate there.

  14. No. Let’s not wait for the plans. Let’s encourage as much consultation and public engagement in the process of developing the plans. FFS, as the kids say. Did we learn nothing this Summer!

    • Ben Makins

      Yes, agree. I was sort of contradicting myself I realise…let’s insist the planning process is inclusive and then grasp the opportunity. By the way….suggestion ref toilets was ironic, in case anyone misunderstands!

    • No offence meant. This is a great idea, even though the best ‘riverside’ spot is already a car park. But it really could be what the community actually wants if they involve everyone (children and young people included) in perhaps some community workshops, or similar, to inform the briefs for potential designers. Inclusivity and innovation. Shock, horror.

  15. Ben Makins

    Yes, good news as it opens up great possibilities. Current site is an eye-sore. Agree, let’s wait for the plans, but hope that the process for drawing them up includes canvassing the local population for ideas, a really engaging and proactive community planning process rather than setting out a plan then trying to defend it. Planning should be bottom up….which reminds me, given the comments on the thread about the town and rugby, maybe it should be turned over for a massive public convenience in time for the Rugby World Cup

  16. Ash

    Enjoyed the article. I like most of what they’ve done with the road layout in the town center and I hope they manage to do something good with the riverside; it is a waste of a good river at the moment.

  17. Anonymous

    Hope it comes to fruition. I had a house in East Twickenham about 14 yrs ago and never realised until I moved to Strawberry Hill that you could walk down Water Lane to the river! Course that could just be me!! Let’s hope it will not encourage too much opposition….

  18. John

    I remember when the site was the Kings Head public house
    (demolished), and today’s car park was the pub garden, had some nice swinging chairs.

  19. Paul

    The major issue here is the way that the best site in Twickenham with superb views (the riverside ) has been made into a car park.

  20. In theory, great news that could make a real difference to the town. Let’s wait for the plans…