COUNCIL PLANS FOR A DEVELOPMENT ON THE RIVERSIDE  

The Background

Over the past 40 years, there have been several proposals to introduce improvements to and develop Twickenham Riverside. Some improvements have been successfully put in place. Other more substantial development schemes have met with resistance from borough residents.

In 2012, the Diamond Jubilee Gardens - Public Open Space on the swimming pool part of the larger Twickenham Baths site - were opened, significantly expanding on the Jubilee Gardens that had already been created on the same pool site in 2004.

The Trust currently holds a lease of 125 years on the Diamond Jubilee Gardens, located in a prime position raised above Twickenham's Embankment. The Trust is therefore a key stakeholder in Richmond Council's current proposals for a development on Twickenham Riverside. 

 

The Trust is working to protect, preserve and improve the provision of Public Open Space within the Council’s proposed development plans.

 

Our statutory obligation, as defined by the Charity Commission, is to ensure that any exchange or reprovision of the land held in trust for the public is ‘equally advantageous’ to its users, the public.

 

We will do our best to keep you updated through the news section of our website.

Brass Band sitting on grass.jpg
Timeline Summary of development proposals for Twickenham Riverside
  • October 2018: The Trust agrees with the Council’s proposal that the Diamond Jubilee Gardens, subject to both the Charity Commission Guidance (see section below), and the Trust's 'Principles for Development', are included in a proposed RIBA Competition for the development of Twickenham Riverside 

  • December 2018: The Local Stakeholders Reference Group (SRG) meetings start, inputting into the RIBA Competition Design Brief.  The Trust is a member of the SRG. 

  • March 2019: Launch of RIBA Competition for Twickenham Riverside

  • June 2019: RIBA Competition shortlisted candidates prepare their proposals

  • September 2019: Public consultation on the proposed schemes from the five shortlisted candidates 

  • November 2019: Hopkins Architects is named the preferred bidder, as chosen by the RIBA Competition Design Panel 

  • November 2019 onwards: The Trust enters into legal discussions with the Council regarding the terms of a new lease, subject to the reprovision of the Gardens in accordance with Charity Commission Guidance and the Trust's 'Principles for Development'.

  • February 2020: The Council's Finance Committee approves the appointment of Hopkins Architects

  • July-October 2020: Following input from the Environment Agency, the competition-winning design undergoes change

  • October 2020: Eight new Trustees are appointed to the Trust, with five ‘founding’ trustees standing down, having served the Charity Commission recommended maximum term of office of nine year

  • December 2020: The Trust’s newly formed Design Team has a series of meetings with Hopkins Architects

  • The Council suspends plans for a potential Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) on the Diamond Jubilee Gardens to allow negotiations to continue with the Trust.

  • January 2021: The Council begins public consultation on the plans. Info here.

  • March 2021: The Council publishes the results of its consultation, to include its engagement with Children and Young People.

  • April 2021: the Council announces that in June 2021 it will use Compulsory Purchase Order Powers to obtain Diamond Jubilee Gardens, should negotiations with the Trust not result in an agreement.

  • May 2021: The Trust appoints Carter Jonas as its surveyor.

  • June 2021: The Council confirms its use of CPO powers to acquire the Trust’s demise within Diamond Jubilee Gardens, should on-going negotiations with the Trust not be successful.

  • The Trust briefs its surveyors Carter Jonas to prepare a Qualified Surveyor's Report and an Open Space Replacement Land report.

  • July/August 2021: The Trust’s surveyor prepares the reports which examine various aspects of the proposed reprovision of its land. The reports are with reference to Charity Commission Guidance and the Acquisition of Land Act (1981). These reports, and input from its legal advisers, guide the Trust’s negotiations with the Council.

  • September 2021: The Council confirms it will use Compulsory Purchase Powers to acquire Diamond Jubilee Gardens.

  • In advance of a council meeting on September 19th, the Council publishes revised documents that show a changed open space plan with respect to its Compulsory Purchase Order. As a result of these late-stage changes introduced by the Council, the Trust is advised by its surveyor and legal advisors that the recently completed Open Space Replacement Land Report prepared for the Trust will need to be revised.

  • Hugh Brasher, Chair of the Trust and a Trustee since 2012, stands down, having served the maximum nine years that a Trustee is allowed to be on the Trust. 

  • Luke Montgomery-Smith is elected Chair of the Trust by his fellow Trustees.

  • October 2021: Jonathan Preece joins the Trust as a Trustee, replacing the legal skillset of a recently retired trustee.

  • The Council makes a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to acquire the Trust's 125-year lease on the Diamond Jubilee Gardens.

  • The Trust's surveyor delivers a revised draft Open Space Replacement Land Report.

  • November 2021: The Trust submits to the Secretary of State its Objections to the CPO process and to the use of the Acquisition of Land Act (1981)

  • December 2021: The Trust formally rejects the Council's reprovision offer, having assessed the advice from its legal representatives.

  • January 2022 - present: The Trust and the Council remain in negotiations regarding the Council's development plans.

Richmond Council’s Compulsory Purchase of the Diamond Jubilee Gardens on Twickenham Riverside

 

The Twickenham Riverside Trust was set up in 2011 following a extensive campaign by local residents (including in a petition of over 8,500 signatures presented to Downing Street) explicitly to protect and preserve the public open space on Twickenham’s riverside. 

 

A 125-year lease on a substantial part of the Diamond Jubilee Gardens (opened in 2012) was granted to the Trust in 2014.

 

At that time, the then Leader of the Council stated that the lease was granted “in perpetuity for the people, so that never again can any other Council come forward with a plan to sell [the Gardens] off to a developer”. 

 

In October 2021, however, the Council launched a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) in order to enable development to take place on the Gardens.

 

In November 2021, with 118 years still remaining on the its lease, the Trust submitted its Objections to the CPO to the relevant Secretary of State’s office.

 

Please use the links below to view the Trust’s CPO Objections and their appendices:

 

TWICKENHAM RIVERSIDE TRUST OBJECTION TO THE LONDON BOROUGH OF RICHMOND UPON THAMES (TWICKENHAM RIVERSIDE) COMPULSORY PURCHASE ORDER 2021

 

TWICKENHAM RIVERSIDE TRUST OBJECTION TO THE ACQUISITION OF PUBLIC OPEN SPACE USING SECTION 19 OF THE ACQUISITION OF LAND ACT 1981, AS PROPOSED UNDER THE LONDON BOROUGH OF RICHMOND UPON THAMES (TWICKENHAM RIVERSIDE) COMPULSORY PURCHASE ORDER 2021

 

The seven Appendices below relate most specifically to the Objection to the Acquisition of Public Open Space, but also support the Objection to the Compulsory Purchase Order:

 

Appendix 1 Trust's demise within the Diamond Jubilee Gardens

Appendix 2 Order Land Council Finance Committee 20.9.2021

Appendix 3 Overlay of Order Land on Existing Gardens (plots 63 and 76)

Appendix 4A Flood Zones Planning Application Design & Access Statements

Appendix 4B Flood Zones Planning Application Design & Access Statements

Appendix 5 Embankment Vehicle/Cycle Corridor

Appendix 6 Examples of events in existing Gardens (photos/posters)

Appendix 7 Planning Application ‘Daylight, Sunlight and Overshadowing Report’ - External Amenity Areas

 

For more information about the CPO process and general information about the Trust, please see ‘More Information’ below.

​​Richmond Council’s 2021 Planning Application

To date, the Trust made several Objections and Observations to the Council's Planning Application.

These, along with some 500+ submissions from residents and organisations, can be viewed on the Council's website.

Please use THIS LINK to see the Council's Planning Application.

The Trust has made Objections on the following matters (links below):

Tree Works - Environmental Impact, Loss to Amenity and Landscape

The placing of the Diamond Jubilee Gardens on the Brownfield Land Register

The replacement playground

The Trust has made Observations on the following matters (links below):

Open space measuring criteria/inconsistencies

Event space - existing/proposed

Environmental Impact Assessment - outdated screening decision

Service Road/parking bay incorrectly defined as Open Space

Seating - inaccurate representation of Existing