The planned Twickenham Riverside redevelopment received significant public support from a feedback report produced by Richmond Council.
Of the respondents, 84% said they would be more likely or just as likely to visit the riverside if the planned redevelopment went ahead.
A public competition was launched to find an architect for the project and Hopkins Architects was chosen in 2019.
The Twickenham Riverside Park Team (TRPT) is a local group of industry professionals who have a petition with around 3,000 signatures demanding the riverside is free of cars after the redevelopment, which the current plan would ensure.
TRPT member Deon Lombard said: “We are looking forward to a really fantastic outcome. We think there are a lot of people in Twickenham who really feel we have broken the mould of a 40-year-old argument about the site.
“We formed over three years ago, and we were instrumental in convincing the council to go with an international competition to find an architect. We were very very pleased with the selection process.
“There are four of us, a planner, two engineers and an architect all with experience in vehicular design. Our engineer worked on highways so when we put together our proposal it was built from experience.
“Despite difficult times, environment agency requirements etc, we are as a team very happy with the way things are progressing.
“There are issues, there always are, and we do have a concern about vehicular movement on the site which we believe is unnecessary but on the while we think the architects have captured the essence of the brief.
“When people are unhappy with something they come out in their droves, and the fact we don’t have people complaining about the scheme is indicative that the majority of the people of Twickenham are very happy with this really excellent scheme.
“I have very little doubt besides an act of God that it will end up as a really inspiring scheme.”
This chart shows how people felt about whether they would visit the redeveloped riverside:
The council’s public feedback report showed overall support for the scheme with only 12% of respondents saying they would be less likely to visit the redeveloped riverside.
Respondents were interested in the possibility of greater green and open space and in particular the possibility of pedestrianisation which 27% of respondents said they liked.
Although 20% of respondents said they were concerned about parking, in terms of current parked cars and those on Eel Pie Island.
Lombard said: “Eel Pie Island need deliveries on a day-to-day basis, we fully understand that, with the removal of the parking area from the embankment, delivery vehicles now aren’t constrained by through traffic.
“Delivery vehicles will have far more freedom and the number of service bays will be increased.
“We believe the council can insist on only smaller trucks using the road.
“We don’t believe there needs to be a connection along the riverside between Water Lane and Wharf Lane which could potentially become a road again.”
As was shown in our previous coverage the approach to parking and deliveries are residents’ main concerns but Richmond Council appear optimistic about progressing.
Richmond Council leader Gareth Roberts said: “It’s clear that the majority of respondents support the vision that this Council has for Twickenham Riverside, a vision which, thanks to the beautiful designs from Hopkins Architects will create the heart for Twickenham which has been promised by successive administrations over the last 30 years but, so far, never delivered.”
Lombard added: “Some of my colleagues and I have been involved for 20 years and it has been incredibly frustrating to see it not progress.
“We argued very strongly for an independent body to control the process and that’s going to make a massive difference.”
The riverside project is based on the embankment alongside Diamond Jubilee Gardens, which is expected to be redeveloped within the plans along with the retail units and residential space proposed.
These findings will all be taken into account as final proposals and decisions are made over the summer.
The petition can be found here.
Feature Photo Credit: Benjuthula