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NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

The concept of the neighbourhood, a key component of The Richmond Society’s Manifesto launched in October, is at the heart of Richmond’s 15-year borough-wide Local Plan, just published.

Places should be “complete, compact, and connected neighbourhoods” where most of the things needed for shopping or visiting are an easy walk or cycle away, the Council says.

The local authority’s strategic vision to guide development and place-making is set out in the Plan. It will be the main document against which planning applications are assessed once it is adopted, which is expected to be in Autumn 2024.

Richmond town - the borough’s major centre - is recognised as having a strong character and sense of place and heritage and an upscale retail market position.

Richmond Station, it says, has an “underwhelming sense of arrival” and is earmarked for comprehensive redevelopment to provide “an improved transport interchange, public realm and an appropriate mix of town centre uses” with commercial, community and residential on upper floors of a complex up to eight storeys high.

An outline of the Plan can be read here and more details accessed here, which is where you can give feedback.  The consultation closes on Monday 31 January.  The Council plans workshops on Zoom on Tuesday 18 January, Wednesday 19 January and Tuesday 25 January. 

 

HOMEBASE

The Richmond Society has reiterated to the Mayor of London opposition to proposals for redevelopment of the Homebase site in Manor Road. Our objections lodged in May and December 2019 remain as valid now, after the latest revisions filed in November 2021, as they were two years ago. We object to the size and height of the proposed development and resulting pressure on public transport and local residents. We do not oppose residential redevelopment of the site with affordable housing in principle.

The height of the blocks (one of eleven storeys, one of ten and two of eight excluding the height of plant) represents overdevelopment which would be overbearing in relation to surrounding low rise buildings.  Public transport facilities will be inadequate in light of revised plans of South Western Railway and changed bus schedules introduced by Transport for London.  Pressure on parking for existing local residents in neighbouring streets to the detriment of those residents is unacceptable.

The Greater London Authority has extended the deadline for its consultation to Thursday 6 January. More information about the application and how to submit comments are here.

 

COVID-19

Richmond upon Thames had London’s highest COVID-19 infection rate, as measured by the NHS, for some weeks in December.  Infections surged throughout the borough, despite it being amongst the capital’s most vaccinated areas.

 

EVENTS

In view of the public health crisis Richmond Society events will switch to Zoom for the foreseeable future. This is disappointing as we resumed in-person meetings only in September. It is the only responsible thing to do, however. The first meeting of the New Year is on Thursday 13 January when Andrew Humphreys will give a talk based on his book Raving upon Thames, which tells the story of the pop music scene that emerged in this area in the 1960s. He has titled his talk “The night The Beatles met the Stones - in Richmond”. Details of our events are here.

Signed copies of Andrew’s book are available at The Open Book in King Street at a special price of £17 for Richmond Society members. That price does not apply to those who want it posted.

 

HAPPINESS

Residents of Richmond-upon-Thames are the happiest people in London, according to an annual survey. Rightmove’s index measured such factors as friendliness to the quality of local amenities to access to open space. In national rankings Richmond was runner-up to Hexham, Northumberland.

 

LIVING IN RICHMOND

Did you see the Financial Times article on Richmond headlined “The view from the hill” (they must have read our Winter Newsletter which contained the same heading)?  The Richmond Society was mentioned in the report published in FT Weekend’s House & Home section on Saturday 11 December.  If you missed it you can read the online version, titled “Richmond-upon-Thames, London’s happy place - with a high price of entry” here

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

The Richmond Society’s Trustees wish readers of this Bulletin a Happy and Healthy New Year.

 

VOLUNTEER

Help us to fulfil The Richmond Society’s objectives.  We need help with arranging events, IT including website maintenance and desktop publishing.  The Society depends on the goodwill of members so if you would like to help please contact chairman@richmondsociety.org.uk.  Get involved and become part of a community of people who love Richmond and want to maintain its special character.

USEFUL LINKS

ARTS - Arts Richmond

BUSINESS - Be Richmond (The Richmond Business Improvement District)

CORONAVIRUS - Richmond Council Coronavirus information

COUNCIL - London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

COUNCIL PODCAST - Talk Richmond is a fortnightly podcast about what is happening in the Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Access it here.

POLICE - South Richmond Safer Neighbourhood Team
      Emergencies - call 999
      Police non-emergencies and Report a crime - call 101
      or go to www.met.police.uk/ro/report
      Call Crime Stoppers at 0800 555 111

If you witness a crime take photos and record number plates. CCTV coverage can help the police to build a case against suspects.
 

SUBSCRIBE

The Richmond Society Bulletin includes topical items we think are likely to be of interest to our members and other residents. Forward this issue to your friends and let them know they can receive it directly. If this issue has been forwarded to you, and you would like to receive future bulletins directly, please subscribe here. There is no charge, though we hope you will be persuaded to join The Richmond Society if you are not already a member.
 

JOIN

If you are not already a member of The Richmond Society, please join us and add your voice to that of a community of people who love Richmond and are passionate about preserving and enhancing its natural and built environment. Membership gives free admittance to our talks, quarterly newsletters, and access to a network of more than 1100 people who care about one of the most beautiful parts of London and want to keep it special.

Annual membership costs £10 for a single person or £16 for two or more in the same household.

Join The Richmond Society

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