We are opposed to the proposals which the Conservative administration took through a planning application earlier this year and believe that further work and expenditure on them should be suspended forthwith. No contracts or binding agreements should be signed this side of the local elections. To do so would be a breach of faith with the electorate.
The current proposals fall short of the quality expected for such an important site and do not meet the aspirations of the people of Twickenham. This is because the Council followed a poor process from the start, appointing architects in secret without a proper brief and not taking account of the views expressed in its own “consultation” exercises.
We believe that the Conservative administration should immediately publish, un-redacted, over 900 written comments submitted in the final consultation round just before the planning application was submitted. We believe this would reveal the extent of opposition to the proposals and challenge the legitimacy of the Council’s decision to submit an application. Continuing refusal to do so is a rejection of the kind of open democracy that the Green Party believes in and will offer if elected.
If elected, Green Councillors would join with those from other parties taking a similar position and immediately convene an independent professional team to work with local people and stakeholders to draw up a proper brief and feasibility study for the site, using the rich material gathered, but ignored, during the consultation process.
At the start we would insist that the brief should include;
Consideration of the whole of the site, including Diamond Jubilee Gardens, The Embankment and commercial properties on King Street.
Removal of parking from the riverside and consideration of sustainable parking and traffic solutions as part of a whole Twickenham review, offering no less parking and access to the current residents and businesses of and visitors to Eel Pie Island as now.
Clarity about the funding available and the level of subsidy that the Council, using your money, can afford, thereby giving a clear indication at the outset about the level of development that might be required to fund the scheme.
An expectation that 50% of any housing included in proposals will be affordable.
Provision of a significant Town Square and other public and accessible open space and a commitment to ensure that any required building should be low-rise and sustainable.
The need to provide a significant new heart for Twickenham which will attract visitors and residents alike and encourage business to remain and locate in the area along with any other elements promised for the riverside by the properly agreed and adopted Twickenham Area Plan.
The need to be future proof in the face of climate change. Proposals must comply with, for example, best practice guidance from organisations such as the Environment Agency regarding flooding.
A clear timetable for completion with an interim low cost open space alternative offered that keeps future options open should current financial constraints prevent a sustainable and practical solution right now.
We welcome the work undertaken by The Riverside Park Team in opposing the Council’s proposals and holding it to account and would work alongside it to ensure the right outcome for Twickenham.
1) Recently, Theresa May has set out her ambition to build a "stronger, fairer, more global Britain". She encouraged us to do this not just for ourselves but for "the county's children and grandchildren too". This is precisely why we are so disappointed that the topic of environmental sustainability - which will affect future generations so profoundly - was not mentioned in any of the 12 principles of the Brexit White Paper.
2) We urge the government to commit to a "Green Guarantee" to ensure full environmental protection post-Brexit. Protecting the UK's beautiful environment is something that our people have long cared deeply about. We encourage the government to transcribe the EU's Habitat, Birds, Bathing Water and all other environmental directives fully into UK law.(Click here for more on Brexit campaign)
Our policy is for borough wide 20 mph limits on all residential roads. Click here to see more information on the advantages of the 20 mph limit.
At the moment we are carrying out surveys of residents' views in Ham. Preliminary results are heavily in favour of the lower limit.
This campaign is also a part of the Cleaner Air campaign. If you are a local resident, why not take Andree's simple survey below?
Richmond and Twickenham, despite their riversides and their green spaces, are home to many major roads and traffic hotspots. Pollution levels are at illegal limits in many places. Client Earth has this map of school playgrounds at risk of pollution (Poisoned Playgrounds - find your school). The local party will put pressure on the council to control pollution and make the borough safer and healthier for residents, and to encourage walking and cycling. Richmond and Twickenham Green Party is a part of the citizen-led, cross-party umbrella organisation MASC (Make Air Cean and Safe )campaigning to improve air quality in our borough.
Roger Mason of MASC made the measurements in the table below outside primary schools in Kew in 2015. He is planning to measure levels inside primary schools later this year.
We have campaigned and will continue to campaign against the Heathrow third runway. The Green Party policy opposes all airport expansion due to overarching concerns about our carbon emissions and climate change. The Air Travel industry's exemption from the government's carbon emissions strategy puts too much strain on all other sectors and is impossible to justify. Today, 23rd February, the Environmental Audit Committee accused the government of 'magical thinking' about the environmental effects of Heathrow expansion, saying there is as yet no realistic plan to meet our overall carbon reduction commitments.
Although there is no absolutely safe level for NO2, the present government target (since 2005) is 40 μg/m3; areas exceeding this limit are highlighted. The bias adjustment is a statistical correction required by the NO2 diffusion tube method, found by reference to DEFRA spreadsheets.
3) We encourage the next government to provide strong leadership on climate change regulation. Climate change is arguably the greatest cross-border challenge that we face, and we need strong cross-border collaboration. There is perhaps no better nation than the UK to lead the way, in working with the EU but also other major economies like the US and China, to establish and enforce aggressive carbon-reduction targets. We should continue membership of cross-border environmental organisations like the European Environmental Agency.
4) We encourage the next government to take strong action on air pollution in the UK, such as banning dirty diesel and promoting the use of zero-emissions vehicles. By ensuring cleaner and purer air, we will help reduce the costs of sickness and premature deaths in the UK.
5) The UK has some of the best universities and research institutions in the world. We encourage the next government to increase support for the eco-tech and clean energy sector. This will not only support an important and growing sector of our economy, but also help drive British innovation worldwide to ensure a more sustainable future for the planet with greater control of climate change.
Find out more about our campaigns at: RichTwickGreens @RTGreenPar
Report from Caroline Lucas and accompanying comment piece
“Brexit need not mean the end of the UK’s strong environmental rules” - Debbie Trippley, WWF legal advisor
“The Implications for UK Environmental Policy of a vote to exit the EU” by Dr. Charlotte Burns (University of York)