More trouble for the Twickenham Station plans.
Based on the tireless work of the Twickenham Residents Action Group, there will be a High Court Judicial Review regarding the Richmond Council approved plans to redevelop Twickenham Station.
We have included the Council and the TRAG’s press releases to let you figure out if it is horrible or wonderful news.
Currently the St Margarets Community Website is wondering if the 10 car extensions of St Margarets and Twickenham Station platforms causes the two stations to actually touch, whether that means St Margarets will move into Zone 5?
Twickenham Residents Action Group Press Release
Twickenham Residents Action Group (TRAG) are delighted that permission has been granted by the High Court for the Judicial Review challenge on the redevelopment of Twickenham Station and the case will be heard in court. Despite the Council’s assertions that there was no case to bring, the courts have upheld TRAG’s grounds that the Council:
- Failed to take into consideration the Twickenham Advisory Panel (TAP) Report; and,
- Failed to take into account a Plan B alternative.
It is now for the court to decide whether the council decision to grant planning approval was unlawful, a decision which has gone against overwhelming public opinion, the conclusions of the TAP Report which totally condemns the Solum high-rise flats led scheme and was against the Council’s newly adopted planning policy limiting any buildings to a maximum of 5 storey from track level stepping down to 3.
The cost of taking forward the Judicial Review challenge is considerable and TRAG are seeking the continued support of local residents, business and anyone with PR reach and influence in raising funds towards meeting these costs, which are in the order of £25 -30,000. Donations can be made via the Pay Pal facility on trag-sos.co.uk/,, and by cheque made payable to TRAG, c/o 10 Cole Park Road, Twickenham, TW1 1HW
TRAG continues to campaign for a low rise, policy compliant redevelopment of Twickenham Station with excellent design principles which we can all be proud of long after Rugby World Cup 2015 has come and gone. If the Council and other parties had taken the concerns and proposals of TRAG and local residents seriously some months ago, a Plan B type solution could now be well under way and still can be.
TRAG continues to be open to meeting Network Rail, Solum, RFU and the Council and any other interested parties to share its viable, policy compliant low-rise Plan B alternative which would have the enthusiastic backing of the local community if adopted.
Richmond Council Press Release
Council concern that Twickenham Station development is threatened
Richmond Council is disappointed in the decision by the High Court of Justice to grant a Judicial Review hearing on the Council’s Planning Committee approval for the redevelopment of Twickenham Train Station.
In December 2011, the Planning Committee granted planning permission for a development by Solum, a partnership of the landowners Network Rail (whose support is required for any planning proposal to be developed) and Kier Ltd, which had been scaled down from a previous proposal. The development includes key improvements to the station, incorporating a new modern entrance and ticket hall, lifts to all platforms, improved public transport interchange facilities, a café, a riverside walk and a new public plaza with an enabling development of flats above the scheme.
The Greater London Authority or Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government can intervene in certain types of planning applications such as this should they have particular concerns. However, after consideration of the decision and other representations, both announced that they would not be overriding Richmond Planning Committee’s decision.
Since the decision was made a local campaign group, the Twickenham Residents Action Group (TRAG) has sought to challenge it and presented its case to the High Court. Following consideration of the application, a judge has granted permission for a full hearing with the parties presenting their respective cases at Court.
The Council is seeking to have the hearing held quickly with a view to the development being completed and the new station ready in time for the Rugby World Cup, to be held in Autumn 2015.
Lord True, Leader of Richmond Council, said:
“We are naturally disappointed that the new station that Twickenham desperately needs has been further delayed. The Council has full confidence in the correctness of its planning procedures.
“I do understand the strong feelings of those who live near any development site. Throughout the overall process, since Solum presented their first plan, we have sought to hear local views and respond to local interests. However, the scheme approved is not the scheme first presented.
“Twickenham Station is a disgrace to our town and hugely inadequate, not least for those who are disabled or travelling with very young children. In three years time over 400,000 people are expected to come to the town by train for the Rugby World Cup. The eyes of the world will be on us. When they arrive we want them to be greeted at a station better fit for purpose than the present wreck. The delay that this Judicial Review introduces puts this at risk, but we will continue to try to deliver improvement in time for the World Cup. The Council will therefore be robustly defending the reasonableness of the decision taken and the process that was followed in our doing so.”