Homebase, Manor Road, Richmond

Deadline 20 December 2019

In July, Richmond Council, on the recommendation of officers, resolved to refuse a planning application for this site by owners Avanton Richmond Ltd on a number of grounds including: an under-provision of affordable housing; design (siting/layout/height/scale/bulk, etc); visual impact on neighbouring residents; living standards of future residents of the scheme; energy efficiency.

Later that month, the Mayor of London declared that he would become the Local Authority for the purposes of determining the planning application, and has been in “pre-app” discussions with the owners since that time.

This has recently resulted in an amended set of proposals including a higher provision of affordable units, up from 134 (35%) to 171 (40%) through an increase in the total number of units from 385 to 433 including a new block above the bus layover.

The next steps are a public consultation, which runs to Friday 20 December, followed by a public hearing, the date of which has not yet been advised.
In the meantime you can access the details of this revised application through:

You can also view them by going along to City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA from 9 am to 5 pm weekdays.

If you intend to make representations to support or object to the revisions these should be submitted by email or in writing to the following addresses by 20 December 2019:

  • Email: ManorRoad@London.gov.uk
  • Post: Homebase Manor Road Public Hearing, The Planning Team, Greater London Authority, The Queen’s Walk, London, SE1 2AA.

The Richmond Society will be considering the proposals too and will be commenting in due course.

Election Hustings Video

On Thursday 28 November 2019, The Richmond Society and The Kew Society held an Election Hustings at Duke Street Church in Richmond.

Candidates on stage with Richmond and Kew Societies' chairmen
From Left to Right: Barry May (Chair, Richmond Society), Roger Mason (Chair, Kew Society)
Zac Goldsmith (Conservative), Mary Russell (Labour), Sarah Olney (LibDem), Caroline Shah (Independent)

A full video of this is now available on YouTube. Please click the image or this link to watch it.

The Richmond and Twickenham Times also covered the hustings in their article Here is everything you need to know from the Richmond Park hustings.

General Election Hustings – Thursday 28 November

Poster for HustingsThe Richmond Society and The Kew Society are jointly holding a General Election hustings for the Richmond Park & North Kingston parliamentary constituency on Thursday 28 November.

It will take place at Duke Street Church, Duke Street, Richmond TW9 1DH from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm. Doors open at 7:00 pm. All members of the public are invited.

Questions for the candidates should be submitted no later than Thursday 21 November to secretary@richmondsociety.org.uk.

Annual Awards 2019

Annual Awards 2019 logo. The Richmond Society’s Annual Awards for 2019 were presented on Thursday 17th October by the Deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, Councillor James Chard.

This year’s brass plaques were given for the renewal of the floor, and installation of modern facilities including a coffee point in St Mary Magdalene Church, and The Bridge @ RHACC in the Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College.


Brass Plaque Award – St Mary Magdalene Church:
renewal of the floor,and installation of modern facilities including a coffee point

Annual Awards 2019: Internal view of St Mary Magdalene showing the renovated floor.

Client
Richmond Team Ministry

Architect
Peter Bowyer

Contractors

Floor-layers:
Ammonite Projects Ltd

Quarry:
Haysom Purbeck Stone

Ground-work:
William Aldridge

Carpenter/decorators :
John and Gordon Carter; Adrian Robinson

Joiners/furniture-makers:
Robin Johannsen, Tim Hawkins, Luke Hughes Ltd

Services Consultant:
Chris Reading

Heating Contractor :
RS Mechanical Ltd

Electrical Contractors:
Lowe & Oliver Ltd


Brass Plaque Award – The Bridge @ RHACC:
Creation of flexible space in the building at the back of the former Magistrates’ Court for community and college use

Annual Awards 2019: Internal view of The Bridge @ RHACC.

Client
Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College

Architect
3BM

Contractors

Fusion Project Management
Noble House


Commendation – Wakefield Road Bus Station:
Development of new bus shelters for passengers allowing better accessibility and protection against the weather

Annual Awards 2019: Wakefield Road Bus Station

Client
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Transport for London
Design
Steer Davies Gleave
Contractor
FM Conway Ltd
London Buses
Funding
LIP
Village Plan

Commendation – Entrance to the Old Deer Park Car Park:
Installation of wooden pillars and landscaping at car park entrance to replace previous old metal barriers

Annual Awards 2019: Entrance to the Old Deer Park Car Park

Client
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

Contractor
Cristi Popa

Stakeholder
Old Deer Park Working Group

Funding
Richmond Society
Kew Society
Friends of Richmond Green
Friends of Old Deer Park


With many thanks to Michael Izett and the Parish of Richmond for the photos.

Rachel Dickson MBE 1920-2019

Rachel Dickson 1920-2019Rachel Dickson, MBE, who died peacefully on 6 August just six months before her centenary, was a Patron of the Richmond Society for nearly three decades.

Trained as an architect, she was an early member of the Society when it was set up in 1957 and became a Patron in 1990.

She served as a Liberal Councillor for Kew from 1971 to 1974, and for Richmond Hill from 1978 to 1986 when she was Deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

Dickson House was opened as a space for studio workshops in 1989 on Queen’s Road Estate, where 400 subsidised homes were built, and named for her work with Richmond Parish Lands Charity, whose Chairman she became in 1985.

Rachel Dickson was active in many local charities, in recognition of which she was awarded an MBE for her dedication to helping and engaging with Richmond residents. Those with which she was associated included almshouses in Richmond, distributing poppy collecting boxes, the Council for Voluntary Services, mental health support organisation RABMIND, Richmond Forum Lunches, Single People’s Emergency Accommodation in Richmond (SPEAR), and the Vineyard Project. She was also interested in penal policy and subsidised housing.

Richmond’s former Team Ministry Rector Julian Reindorp dubbed her ‘Mrs Richmond’.

She leaves two sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren to whom we offer our deepest sympathy. Her eldest son predeceased her in 2013.

Heathrow Expansion Public Meeting on Tuesday 23rd July

7:30pm at Duke Street Church, Duke Street, Richmond, TW9 1DH

Heathrow Airport is consulting on its “preferred masterplan” for expansion of the airport and the environmental impact. The plans include the construction of a third runway, modernised use of airspace and additional flights before the runway opens.

Richmond Heathrow Campaign (RHC) is organising a public meeting so that residents, and in particular those from Kew and Richmond, can learn about the plans and the consultation.

Key topics:

  • Heathrow’s expanded operations
  • Noise
  • Air pollution from surface traffic and aircraft
  • Impact on climate change

The panel:

  • Chair, Professor Ian Bruce, CBE
  • Nigel Milton, Director of Communications, Heathrow Airport Limited
  • Cllr Martin Elengorn, Richmond Council, Chair of the Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sports Services Committee
  • Cait Hewitt, Deputy Director, Aviation Environment Federation
  • Peter Willan, Chair, Richmond Heathrow Campaign

Please email questions in advance to action@richmondheathrowcampaign.org. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions on the night.

Please pass on this information to your friends and neighbours – we look forward to seeing you at the event.

Peter Willan
Chair, Richmond Heathrow Campaign
www.richmondheathrowcampaign.org

Richmond Heathrow Campaign represents three amenity groups in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames: The Richmond Society, The Friends of Richmond Green, and the Kew Society, which together have over 2000 members.

Guerrilla gardeners restore colour to riverside

This modest plot between Buccleuch Gardens and the former Three Pigeons pub beside the Thames at Richmond was much neglected until Richmond Society members decided to do something about what had become an eyesore.

They hatched a plan to clear it and plant bulbs to restore some colour. Bulbs were duly donated and the Society bought compost and more plants. Members volunteered to do the gardening. The project had a disappointing start. Some bulbs came through, but not as many as was hoped.

“We put in several hundred pounds’ worth of plants in February, and in March a posse of workmen arrived with their mechanical digger to replace the sewer underneath and dig up round the bollard” said Nicky Wood, who chairs the Society’s Landscaping and Riverside Committee. “Not much of our planting survived the onslaught.”

Then fortunes changed. A chance encounter with Anna Kapuvari, a garden designer who was walking by as volunteers toiled away, led to the donation of more plants.

“Everything is planted now, and we think it’s looking pretty good,” Nicky said.

Volunteer Gardeners at the site

PHOTO (L-R) Volunteer gardeners Jean Loveland, Lizzie Danckwerts, Carey Clark, Nicky Wood, and Lindsey Andrews of the Richmond Society.

Thanks are due to the Metropolitan & Public Gardens Association and Taylors of Holbeach who donated 250 bulbs, Ham House for more than 300 bulbs, Petersham Nurseries for more than 150 plants, GoodGym Richmond whose members dug, weeded, composted, and helped to plant bulbs, Richmond upon Thames Council Parks Department which supported the project, Richmond Society volunteer gardeners Lindsey Andrews, Carey Clark, Lizzie Danckwerts, Linda Duffield, Jean Loveland, Hilary Pereira and Nicky Wood.

Richmond Hill Open Gardens, Sunday 2 June 2019

On Sunday 2nd June 2019, 15 beautiful gardens will be open to the public, offering something of interest for everyone.

Within walking distance of each other and close to Richmond town centre, the gardens are all set on the slopes of Richmond Hill. The gardens will be open from 11am to 5pm; some will have plants for sale.

For further details and tickets, please see the Richmond Hill Open Gardens website.

Heathrow Consultation – Deadline 4th March

Heathrow Airport has issued a consultation on its operations and associated airspace design. It presents several proposals that would increase aircraft noise over Richmond significantly.

Link to RHC guidance on responding to the consultationThe Richmond Heathrow Campaign, on which the Richmond Society is represented, has issued a guide to the consultation and suggestions as to how to respond, which can be accessed here. The consultation expires this coming Monday 4 March. 

While the issues are technical and the consultation not always straightforward to follow, the potential noise impact on Richmond  is substantial. We therefore urge you to respond.

Additionally, Richmond’s MP Zac Goldsmith will chair a public meeting on the consultation at 7:00 pm this Wednesday 27 February at Duke Street Church, Richmond.  There are more details about this meeting here.  

Local Transport Strategy Implementation consultation response

On 11 January 2019, the Richmond Society responded to the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames’s consultation about the Third Local Implementation Plan for the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.

Questions 1 and 2 covered the details of who we are. Our answers to the subsequent questions comprise our response.

3. To what extend do you support or oppose the objectives of the LIP?

Tend to support.

4. Please tell us the aspects of the Objectives section that you particularly like and why:

We support initiatives that facilitate more walking and cycling – most especially for shorter journeys and when supplemented by a better public transport provision for longer journeys, or when active travel options are not practical or desirable.

We support the aspirations for developing “Healthy Routes” to schools although it may prove hard to derive a tangible benefit at schools located in areas of high traffic flow and pollution.

The move to online shopping and decline of high streets has led to more freight traffic using residential roads and we would welcome action to promote the consolidation of delivery services. We would expect residents of car-free developments to place a high reliance on supermarket and similar household delivery services. We therefore support Council action to obtain a better understanding of freight deliveries and gain tangible evidence in advance of trying to implement changes that may have economic repercussions.

5. Please tell us the aspects of the Objectives section that you particularly dislike and why :

The LIP does not seem to promote an integrated transport strategy – most especially one that recognises the impact of the proposed large scale housing development in Mortlake, Kew and North Sheen. It’s all very well to give blanket support for car free developments in high PTAL areas, but this is a crude indicator that does not consider where residents want to travel to for work, schools and for shopping and social reasons.

Reducing overall levels of car ownership and supporting public transport are admirable objectives but we have some concern about the Council using CPZ’s as “a key mechanism for the borough to influence the number and type of vehicles owned by residents”. For some residents this will be construed as a further tax on the less affluent while those with off-street parking would be exempted. Furthermore, the Council allows motorcycles to park in a CPZ without a permit, but it is unclear whether encouraging a shift to P2W vehicles is a desired policy objective or unintended consequence. It will also be a simple matter for residents of car free developments with s106 restrictions on CPZ permits to park their P2Ws in a CPZ space.

There is an important distinction that is not well made between reducing people’s use of private cars versus their ownership of a private car. While discouraging ownership might be a good thing, not every trip can be accomplished on public transport – moving heavy things or taking the elderly to hospital for example. For those type of journeys car clubs and taxis provide an important public service. However, because the Mayor doesn’t consider car clubs, taxis or private hire vehicles to fall within the “Public Transport” category any trips using these methods are meant to be subject to the modal shift aims when this may not be appropriate.

Average bus speeds are quoted in the LIP as being typical for outer London but the Council nevertheless intends (yet again) to review the operational hours of existing bus lanes. The slower and more unreliable aspects of a bus journey for a passenger will often be time spent at bus stops and in taking convoluted routes of no benefit to most riders. An origin and destination study to evaluate the appropriateness of bus routes and, most especially, to establish the feasibility of express bus services may be a better use of resources and ultimately prove a better way to entice more bus passengers.

6. To what extent do you support or oppose the delivery plan?

Tend to support.

7. Please tell us the aspects of the Delivery Plan section that you particularly like and why.

We welcome the Council’s desire to increase understanding around freight and servicing activity. However, we are concerned about comments in the text that pre-suppose a desire to reduce freight traffic before knowing the economic impact.

We are pleased that the council intends to work with local community groups to ensure that projects are in the right locations and include the improvements most needed by local people.

8. Please tell us the aspects of the Delivery Plan section that you particularly dislike and why:

Walking issues

The LIP gives no priority to improving the physical condition of local pavements which is disappointing given that they are an essential requirement for this purpose. Uneven and/or narrow and/or cluttered pavements make it unappealing to walk particularly for older or disabled people, or those with children and pushchairs, or with parcels to carry. There are locations where poor management of street trees has made it impractical for many people to use the footpath and this should be addressed.

In delivering the MTS objectives for walking, cycling and public transport the Council should give close attention to the needs of older people across the borough. What a younger person may see as an easy journey can include insurmountable obstacles for the elderly. Furthermore, even the most able bodied may occasionally need vehicles to move large or multiple items.

CPZ issues

We are not comfortable with CPZs being used as a tool to implement Council policies and to raise excess revenue from those who are simply struggling to find on street parking space near where they live. Not everyone who parks on the street is affluent and properties with off-street parking would not be subjected to the same constraints.

Some residents need vehicles to work, not only those who may be employed at some distance from the borough, but also those who provide support services locally. That can include care workers visiting elderly or disabled residents in their own homes and trades people such as plumbers and electricians who provide essential support services. The cost of services to residents is also increased when there is a requirement to pay for parking in a CPZ. Furthermore, car dependency tends to be higher in areas of the borough with lower PTAL ratings.

Poor Integrated Thinking

The MTS does not consider Private Hire Vehicles to be part of “public transport” in spite of their benefits in reducing levels of private car ownership and helping to offer an integrated transport solution, especially in areas with low PTALs.

The draft LIP advises that the Council expects to control car ownership and drive public transport use through supporting car-free developments in high PTAL locations. The Council also seems to indicate support for TfL “re-shaping” the bus network to meet changing patterns of demand. Unfortunately, TfL’s recent consultation about curtailing bus services to Manor Circus suggests there is a disconnect between the Council and TfL on these issues. Reducing the PTAL around Manor Circus would work against the Mayor’s objectives for car free housing while also reducing the public transport experience.

The LIP states that the Council will seek to minimise the impact of the level crossings on pedestrians and cyclists but doesn’t mention working with Network Rail and the train operators to reduce dwell times for motor vehicles. This seems like an odd omission given the significant benefits for reducing congestion and pollution.

The funding submission to TfL (as detailed in Appendix 2) does not appear to be following the current MTS categories.

Cycling

The LIP indicates multiple benefits arising from the recent introduction of dockless bikes, but the evidence raises doubts about Ofo’s operational capability and whether the scheme is viable in the longer term.

There is no discussion about the growing number of electric scooters including whether they should be supported as a part of the local travel mix with rights to use pavements or cycle lanes.

The LIP confirms the Council’s wish for more contra-flow cycle lanes and greater use of filtered permeability, but we would request that these only be implemented having taken full account of local knowledge and support.

ULEZ

The LIP states in several places that the Council supports the expansion of the ULEZ to the South Circular. Previously the Council has pushed for the ULEZ boundary to be located further out and has consistently opposed using the South Circular as the ULEZ boundary because it would bisect the borough, put Townmead dump inside the ULEZ and divert higher polluting vehicles into areas that already struggle with poor air quality. We are opposed to the South Circular becoming the ULEZ boundary and consider that the Mayor is simply taking a cost/benefit decision that requires Richmond to bear the costs without any benefits.