Construction work on the new Twickenham Station development is set to start in September 2012 now that the plans have been formally approved by Richmond Council.
Following the announcement that neither the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government or the GLA will formally intervene in the Planning Committee decision (December 2011), the Council has now formally signed off the legal Section 106 agreement and issued planning permission which allows the development to commence.
It is hoped that the work will commence in September 2012 and will be completed in time for the Rugby World Cup in 2015. Over the next few months, Solum Regeneration will be working up detailed designs and appointing a contractor.
Cllr Virginia Morris, Richmond Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, said:
“I am pleased that following months of uncertainty, the green light has now been given to start work on this dilapidated railway station.
“There has been a huge amount of discussion on this application and I hope that everyone will now start looking forward and acknowledge the positive future that Twickenham has ahead.
“One of the first milestones for the development will be the recruitment of the Community Liaison officer. This will be a key point of access for residents and just one of the ways that the developers will be working towards minimising the effects of the building work on those living nearby.
“I know that there are some people who are still keen to criticise this development. I remain very confident that the planning process was handled fairly and I would be disappointed and concerned that any further challenge, regarding a decision which has had sign off from the Secretary of State and the GLA, would hinder the delivery of a new station by 2015.”
John Robinson, from Solum Regeneration, said:
“We are looking forward to starting construction later in the year. This is an exciting project that will bring a new station quarter to Twickenham.
“The scheme delivers a new station for Twickenham. It has been designed to manage increased passenger numbers forecast by Network Rail and will significantly improve the experience for people with disabilities and push chairs. The design of the scheme has been future proofed to enable growth in train services.
“Working on development projects over the live railway is challenging from an engineering perspective, but our experience from similar projects at Epsom and Walthamstow will help us minimise any disruption to rail users and neighbours. Twickenham station will remain open as normal through the construction period.”
Richard Knight, the Rugby Football Union’s Stadium Director, who are hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2015, added:
“The approval of a modern station complex with significantly improved facilities is welcomed by the RFU, benefiting the travelling public, visitors to the stadium and Twickenham town centre. The RFU has engaged widely on this scheme and we are confident that the new station will provide an impressive gateway to Twickenham for the several hundred thousand visitors from around the world during the 2015 Rugby World Cup”
– from Richmond Council press release - 3 April 2012