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Old Deer Park Consultation

Richmond Council has launched a consultation on the future planning framework for the Old Deer Park in Richmond. The Richmond Society has participated in the Old Deer Park Working Group for more than five years, and will be submitting its response in January.

We encourage you to respond as well, or to feed back any comments to us via email at The deadline for responses is Monday 22nd January 2018.

The Draft Supplementary Planning Document that provides the starting point for the consultation can be found on the Richmond ‘Have your say’ website.

The original proposals for the Old Deer Park were published by Kim Wilkie on behalf of the Crown Estates in 1999. You can read a copy of this on our website here.

You can respond online via this Richmond ‘Have your say’ link.


AGM Agenda and Reports 2017

The papers for this year’s AGM on Thursday 7th December are now available.

Please click the links below if would like to access them.

Papers for the Annual General Meeting 7th December 2017

The full trustees’ reports and accounts for the year 2016-2017

Proposed Virginia Woolf statue in Richmond

Proposed statue on bench on Richmond Riverside (from consultation).

Richmond Council has issued a consultation to gather views on a heritage project to create the first ever life-sized, full figure statue of the famous writer Virginia Woolf.

This would be a sculpture incorporating a bench located on Richmond Riverside, as illustrated in the picture.

The chosen artist Laury Dizengremel produced the Capability Brown statue at Hammersmith. A short YouTube video provides more information on this.

The Richmond Society is in favour of this proposal, though strongly believes that the bench included as part of the sculpture should match those elsewhere on Richmond Riverside.

The consultation is quick to complete, and can be found at the Council’s Citizen Space link.

It closes on Sunday 10th December.


National Archives focus groups

the National Archives entrance

The National Archives want to hear from you!

The Audience Agency are working alongside The National Archives to help them develop their exhibitions programme. Part of this research is a focus group for people who have not recently, or ever, visited The National Archives site in Kew.

The focus groups will take place on Tuesday 10th, Thursday 12th and Tuesday 17th October, at The National Archives’ site in Kew. It will be a relaxed and informal conversation with up to ten people and you don’t need to have visited The National Archives before or have any specific knowledge of it, to attend!

The focus group will last for a maximum of 90 minutes, and you will receive £40 as a thank you for your time.

If you would like to join us, please follow this link, to let us know your availability and to give us a bit of information about yourself via a short survey. If you are chosen to take part, we will be in touch to let you know and give you some more details.

If you have any comments or questions about the research please feel free to email the Audience Agency.

Annual Awards 2017

Annual Awards 2017 logo. The Richmond Society’s Annual Awards for 2017 were presented on Thursday 21st September by our patron, Baroness van Dedem.  This was the 40th anniversary of the first Richmond Society awards in 1977.

Paul Martin, Chief Executive London Boroughs of Richmond and Wandsworth was the guest of honour.

This year’s brass plaque was given for for the renovation and conversion to apartments of the Star and Garter.

Brass Plaque Award – Star & Garter:
Renovation and conversion to apartments

Annual Awards 2017: Star and Garter, Richmond.

London Square
Mark Lopeman
Mark Smith
PDP London
Simon Gazzard
London Square

Commendation – The Tap Tavern:
Transformation of the street façades

Annual Awards 2017: The Tap Tavern, Richmond.

Mr Sat Ghuman
Rosendale Design
Dale Atkinson
Thompsons Ltd
Joseph Thompson

Commendation – The Ivy Café:
Transformation of restaurant premises

Annual Awards 2017: The Ivy Café, Richmond.

Pegasus Group
Michael Spurgeon
Pump House Designs
Steve Fasey
We Make It Happen Design & Build
Lucy Potter
Laura Sadler
Alyssa Kirton

Commendation – Richmond War Memorial:
Cleaning and restoration

Annual Awards 2017: Richmond War Memorial.

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Michael Pike
Stonewest Ltd
Carl Nicholas
Toby Moore
Terry Watts

Commendation – Holbrook House:
Renovation of Garden

Annual Awards 2017: Holbrook House, Richmond.

Holbrook House Ltd
Robert Leigh
Robin Hart Design
Robin Hart


With many thanks to Helen Taylor for the photos.


Wendy Macaulay 1924-2017

Members of the Society and many others who have lived in and around Richmond since the 1950s and 1960s or longer were much saddened by news of the death of Wendy Macaulay at the end of June.

Wendy made a significant contribution to the Richmond Society across the years – as a founder member of the Society and as member of its Executive Committee from 1957 until 1964, when she stood down to have her fourth child – her place being taken by her friend Sheila Attenborough – and as a valued member and supporter through the years since, including serving as area-representative for Richmond Hill from 1970.

As a resident of Rosemont Road on Richmond Hill for some sixty years, Wendy was a well-known and highly regarded figure in Richmond and an effective campaigner for securing the best for the Town, its community and its amenity. Members of the Society who attended the celebration of the first sixty years of the Society in April will remember with pleasure Wendy’s fascinating recollections of the Town and the Society in its early days.

Perhaps Wendy’s greatest achievement locally was her co-founding The Friends of Richmond Park in 1961 and her active involvement and continuing support for the protection and conservation of the Park ‘for the benefit of public and future generations’. Right up to her recently leaving Rosemont Road and moving to a care-home overlooking her beloved Park, Wendy remained active in local affairs, supporting Liberal causes and the Richmond Good Neighbours scheme, as well as fulfilling her important role as mother of three daughters and one son and grandmother to nine grandchildren.

The Society and the wider Richmond community have much to thank Wendy for in her public service across the years.

Paul Velluet
Chairman, 1984-1988
27th July, 2017

Richmond Society Sixtieth Anniversary Booklet

60th Anniversary booklet front page thumbnail
The Richmond Society celebrated its 60th Anniversary at an celebration on Thursday 6th April 2017. Speakers included the society’s patrons Lord Alan Watson and Baroness Ronnie van Dedem, past chairmen of the society, and long-standing members who have supported the society’s work over the past six decades.

To mark the occasion, the Society published a booklet setting out the issues it has addressed over the years, along with a full list of its patrons, chairmen, and secretaries. The list also includes officers of its History and Archaeological sections until they became fully fledged societies at the end of the 1970s.

The booklet can be downloaded by clicking here or on the image on the left.

Richmond Society Annual Report and Accounts 2016

The Society’s executive committee’s report and accounts for the year 2016 were presented at the Richmond Society’s AGM on 8th December 2016.

The report can be found on our Annual Reports page, or downloaded from this link.  It includes this annual Statement from the Chair, Professor Ian Bruce CBE.

The last year has once again been encouragingly active for us as you will see in the following committee reports which cover many important topics such as the new borough local development framework, the new leases for Old Deer Park, Heathrow expansion, riverside amenities, public lavatories, alcohol licenses and other subjects including our social events. Thank you to the chairs, committee members and all the others who volunteer to make these activities happen. Richmond Society has no paid staff so everything that happens needs someone to volunteer to do it! I should like most profoundly to thank everyone who helps, and hope that the 100+ members who volunteer find it worthwhile and (mostly!) enjoyable.

At our last AGM in December 2015 we agreed a legal format of a charitable incorporated organisation and a draft constitution. The Charity Commission approved our registration on 7 September 2016 without requiring any significant modification to our draft constitution. Special thanks to our Treasurer Andrew Coleman for steering us through this complicated exercise.

Membership has continued to grow, with 139 new members producing a net increase to a new high of 1,185 at the end of the financial year 30 September. I am fairly confident that at our AGM I shall be reporting that we have topped 1,200. This has contributed to some of the increased numbers attending our events. For example, when we were in the Vestry Hall our talks were usually to 40 to 80 people. We moved to Duke Street Church for a year up to November 2015 to accommodate larger numbers, but unfortunately they were planning major refurbishments and so we switched to the Richmond Adult Community College (RACC) in January 2016. Numbers attending talks are now between 120 and 200 and everyone is delighted with the warm and welcoming atmosphere of RACC.

Last year I reported on our success in lobbying for more community toilets, up from one to twenty-six. Over the first year of their operation some have worked well but a survey we undertook showed that about a quarter are not satisfactory and the distribution of the remainder is uneven e.g. with none along the riverside. You will read several references to this subject in the committee reports and we shall continue to campaign on this issue.

Although technically not in the year under review, it is worth reporting that on 1 October 2016 Richmond Council introduced a shared staffing and management arrangement with Wandsworth Council in order to save money, reduce overheads and protect front-line services. There is now one Chief Executive in charge of the two boroughs. In October we had a Forum on this subject and many members in the audience expressed concern.

Last but certainly not least, we were delighted when Baroness Ronny van Dedem accepted our invitation to become an additional Patron of Richmond Society. Along with her husband Baron Willem van Dedem, who sadly passed away in 2015, she has given the wonderful grounds of Trumpeters House for our summer party for many years. Already she has attended our Annual Review and Awards evening in September and presented the awards.

Old Deer Park

The Old Deer Park Working Group (ODPG) consists of representatives of The Richmond Society, The Kew Society, The Friends of Richmond Green, The Friends of Old Deer Park and The St Margaret’s Estate Residents Association.

ODPG response to the Council’s Old Deer Park Supplementary Planning Consultation
(November 2016)

Report thumbnailIn October 2016 Richmond Council issued its Old Deer Park Supplementary Planning Document.   The Old Deer Park Working Group recently responded to this.

ODPG response to the Council’s Pre-Publication Consultation on the Local Plan
(August 2016)

Report thumbnailIn July 2016, Richmond Council issued out its Pre-Publication Consultation on the Local Plan. In its response, the Old Deer Park Working Group highlighted the absence of a draft Proposals Map, uncertainty whether the Old Deer Park has (or does not have) a Village Plan. It also reiterated the need for the Council to resolve the significant anomalies relating to the definition of the Old Deer Park’s boundaries as highlighted in its Boundary Definitions report of February 2013 (see above).

ODPG response to the Council’s Site Allocations Plan Pre-Publication consultation
(July 2014)

In June 2014, Richmond Council issued its Site Allocations Development Plan (Pre-Publication consultation on new additional sites).

Report thumbnailThe Old Deer Park Working Group responded, expressing concern that the Council had failed to address the adjustments that it had highlighted as being necessary in its November 2013 response. This failure went against the clear recognition of the case for adjustments in the definition of the relevant zoning boundaries expressed by the Leader of the Council, Cabinet Members, other Councillors and planning officers at useful and constructive meetings held at York House on the 22nd January and 24th February, 2014. The Group once again urged the Council to effect the necessary adjustments in the definition of the relevant zoning boundaries under the provisions of the Site Allocations Plan.

ODPG response to the Council’s Site Allocations Consultation (November 2013)

In October 2013, Richmond Council issued its Site Allocations Plan consultation, aimed at meeting “present and future needs for housing, employment, retail, transport, education, health, community facilities, sport and leisure, looking ahead over the next fifteen years”.

Report thumbnailThe Old Deer Park Working Group’s response to this reiterated the principles it had set out in its Boundary Definitions report (see above). The Group’s principal concern was that failure by the Council to remedy the designation anomalies that it had identified would leave the relevant areas of the Old Deer Park at significant risk of proposals for substantial built development damaging the integrity and distinctive character of the Park.

ODPG Boundary Definitions Proposal Proposal (February 2013)

Report thumbnailThe Group’s 2012 report raised concerns regarding significant anomalies regarding the definitions of a number of boundaries relating to the Old Deer Park shown in the Council’s Local Development Framework Proposals Map, Adopted November 2011. So in February 2013 the Group issued a further Boundary Definitions report recommending that the scope of future Old Deer Park plans include:
(1) the Pools on the Park, its grounds and car park
(2) the Old Deer Park car park and the land between that and the railway
(3) the carriageway and footways of the Twickenham Road.

ODPG Framework Proposal (June 2012)

Report thumbnailIn June 2012 the Group published the report: The Old Deer Park, Richmond – Re-connecting the Town to its local park – Realising an under-recognised parkland asset – A framework for conservation and enhancement.

The Group’s aim in publishing the report was to provide a positive contribution to discussion and debate in the context of the falling-in and renewal of all but two of the existing leases granted by the Crown Estate for the land comprising the Old Deer Park, Richmond.

Old Deer Park Richmond: The Crown Estate Strategy (Kim Wilkie, 1999)

Report thumbnailThe original proposals for the Old Deer Park were published by Kim Wilkie on behalf of the Crown Estates in 1999:
The Old Deer Park, Richmond – Re-connecting the Town to its local park – Realising an under-recognised parkland asset – A framework for conservation and enhancement.



Richmond Heathrow Campaign responds to the Government’s Heathrow announcement

Yesterday’s Government announcement supporting a 3rd runway at Heathrow is still only a single step towards a goal that may never be delivered. The final free vote in parliament will not be taken until October 2017 or later. In the mean time the proposal faces several obstacles:

1. The Government’s failure to explain how a 3rd runway will be paid for without raising landing charges and without massive public subsidy.

2. The impact of the 2008 Climate Change Act, which can only result in Heathrow diverting growth from parts of the UK where it is needed to the south-east where it is not.

3. Legal challenges from local councils (including Richmond) and environmental groups.

The Richmond Heathrow Campaign’s view is that this decision is political and not rational. The history of the Roskill Commission in the early 1970s shows that a Government runway decision can be changed, and then never implemented. We will continue to campaign to expose the absence of a factual foundation for today’s runway decision with a view to the proposed new runway sharing the same fate.

We are now on Twitter and will be building up a series of infographics over coming weeks. If you are on Twitter then please follow us, and please retweet us to your followers if you like what we are saying.

You can see our full position on Heathrow and all our submissions to the Davies Commission on our website.

For further papers covering the different aspects of Heathrow expansion please visit RHC Facts.

Peter Willan, Chair of the Richmond Heathrow Campaign writes:

On Tuesday 25 October, Chris Grayling (Secretary of State for Transport) announced with enthusiasm the Government’s support for a 3rd runway at Heathrow and that the scheme will now be taken forward. The process involves a draft National Policy Statement in the New Year followed by consultation, parliamentary scrutiny and a vote and then designation at which point a detailed planning application can be made.

The Government states it has relied on the recommendation of the Airports Commission in July 2015 and the positive outcome of further work on two unresolved issues of air quality and carbon emissions. Tribute was paid to the quality and professionalism of the Commission’s report.

Emphasis is given to the value of expansion to the local and wider economy with increased employment and international and domestic connectivity. The Statement repeatedly referred to Britain being open for business. In spite of the substantial costs, the Government says it is confident a plan will be delivered that keeps landing charges close to current levels. At this stage it is not clear whether the Government has ruled out any financial support for surface access or anything else.

The Government claims to recognise environmental costs and to that end – an expectation to end night flights before 6am and new legally binding noise targets. It notes the airport has pledged £700 million for noise mitigation. Meeting air quality legal requirements will be made a planning condition. Compensation for those communities affected will be supported by up to £2.6 billion (paid by Heathrow). We should be wary of any predictions decisions or conditions offered, given the history of broken promises by Government. No mention has been made of a 4th runway but then any promise not to expand further is almost certainly worthless.

Richmond Heathrow Campaign has consistently argued against the need for any new runways, given the restrictions flowing from Climate Change Act 2008 on carbon emissions that in effect limit the number of passengers to around 380 million per annum by 2050. We set out in our fact sheets at the negative impact on the UK economy of a 3rd runway under these circumstances and based on the Airports Commission’s evidence. Growth in total UK passenger numbers is reduced and Heathrow diverts demand from the rest of the UK, thus damaging employment and local economies around the UK. Growth of inbound tourism and long-haul business trips is reduced thus reducing economic benefits and the number of UK overseas destinations remains unchanged. These are all facts, along with many others, the Government has seemingly ignored. The Commission’s recommendation just does not stand up to scrutiny of its own facts.

The decision in our view is not rational and is founded on politics pressured by Heathrow and business lobbying. The Government has missed the opportunity to invest in making London’s five airports and their access better and allowing the rest of the UK to expand. Instead, concentration and overheating in the southeast will stifle competition. The Government and Heathrow are now engaged in a huge gamble that the expansion can be delivered, achieve the estimated benefits and satisfy the environmental and other constraints. We doubt success will be achieved. We will do what we can to ensure the scheme never gets off the ground.

Significantly, four local authorities including, Richmond, along with Greenpeace will almost certainly launch a legal challenge. The scheme is likely to be frustrated and delayed for several years and may never take off. We will continue the challenge with the support of our local amenity groups we represent – the Richmond Society, the Kew Society and the Friends of Richmond Green, which together have over 2,000 members. Not to do so would allow our community to be blighted with the potential of additional flights over Richmond. Our neighbour, Heathrow, has poured salt on the wound by declaring it will seek an early expansion of flights before the runway is built. We encourage people to follow us on twitter and support the campaign.

Further Reading from the Evening Standard . . .

Heathrow expansion is ‘wrong decision for London and Britain’
Sadiq Khan, October 2016

Expanding Heathrow will be a monumental blight on west London
Simon Jenkins, October 2016

Third Heathrow runway is ‘an outrageous vanity project’ says BA boss Willie Walsh
July 2015