HOMEBASE, MANOR ROAD
URGENT - There is only one day to go before the Mayor of London’s consultation on amended proposals to re-develop the Homebase site closes tomorrow night.
The Richmond Society has objected to the plans which can be viewed here.
The concerns we expressed in May 2019 remain and are increased because of proposed changes that increase the height, density and pressure on local services and amenities by the addition of well over new 1,000 residents. The extra residential units will increase pressure on public transport facilities. This is quite apart from the continuing disruption caused by the now total closure of Hammersmith Bridge.
The current proposals by developers Avanton Richmond envisage increasing the number of residential units by 69 to 453; 2 blocks decreasing in height by 1 storey to 8 storeys but another increasing by 2 storeys to 11 and another increasing by 1 storey to 10. With the exception of 1 building of 12 storeys on the other side of the railway line, the area surrounding the site comprises low rise buildings, so the addition of 4 towers all of which exceed the maximum of 6 storeys envisaged under the Local Plan will change the character of the area significantly.
ACT NOW - You can make a representation of objection or support today by emailing the Greater London Authority at ManorRoad@london.gov.uk or on the GLA website here. A public hearing is provisionally scheduled for Thursday 1 October.
Cultural life has suffered in Richmond as it has in the rest of the country. Theatres are dark and concert halls are empty, but slowly some cultural events are beginning to revive. The Richmond Society’s Executive Committee of Trustees believes the Arts should be encouraged, promoted and supported as a means to help reinvigorate Richmond during this period of government and public health strictures.
Arts Richmond, a voluntary organisation with more than 140 affiliated societies, has two competitions coming up:
- The Roger McGough Poetry Competition 2020: Identity. Cash prizes for poets aged 16+ on the theme of identity. The deadline is 12:30 pm on Friday 18 December. Details here.
- The Arts Richmond Young Writers Festival. Open to all young people to write about any subject in any format - a story, a poem, a script. Entries close on Friday 4 December. Details here.
Following a Summer of anti-social behaviour and disorder on Richmond Green, the Riverside and adjacent streets a group of residents have set up a company and contracted a private security firm of retired police officers to provide uniformed patrols from Wednesday to Sunday and “keep the town free from crime”. You can read more about them here.
A disused public toilet at the Old Town Hall on Whittaker Avenue, Richmond has been deep cleaned and reopened following complaints by local residents about people using the Green, Riverside and adjacent streets as a lavatory. It is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday to Friday. The toilet is specifically for disabled people and baby changing. Male and female toilets on each side of the Old Town Hall steps have been shut for years and remain closed.
Toilets are open at Richmond Railway Station, and in cafés, pubs, restaurants and shops which take part in the Council’s Community Toilet Scheme, which enables people to use facilities without having to make a purchase. Some councillors say the scheme is no longer viable because of social distancing and hygiene requirements. They have tabled a petition for the Council to provide toilets and called for an emergency meeting to deal with the public health issue. The petition runs until Wednesday 25 November. If it secures1,000 signatures the issue will be debated by the Council. The petition is here.
In the meantime, a special meeting of the Council on Tuesday 22 September will discuss a request for a temporary solution - portaloos in Richmond and Twickenham.
Police say personal robbery - mugging - in Richmond is usually for anything small and high value, for example mobile phones, cash, clothing, bags, and bicycles. About 70% of both victims and suspects are under the age of 20. In 2017 there were 216 victims of such robberies, in 2019 the figure was 406.
If you want to go online but do not have a computer you can book one at the Information and Reference Library located at the Old Town Hall in Whittaker Avenue. Call 020 8734 3308 the day before you wish to visit for a 45-minute session Monday to Saturday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. More information here.
The Richmond Society could not function without its Trustees and volunteers who give so willingly of their time and energy. If you would like to help protect, preserve and enhance our natural and built environment, do get in touch. If you have special skills relating to the environment and air quality, infrastructure including transport issues, landscape and riverside, licensing, marketing and communications, planning and development, police liaison - in fact anything that helps to keep Richmond special, please contact us here.
The Richmond Society has a new address and phone number. Write to us at The Richmond Society, The Bridge Workspace, 7b Parkshot, Richmond TW9 2RD. Calls to 020 8843 7983 are answered during business hours, 9 to 5 Monday to Friday.