Permission granted for Teddington Studios redevelopment

PlanningAt a planning committee meeting last night, Richmond Council granted permission for the plans which will see Teddington Studios demolished to make way for 219 luxury residential units. Councillors voted 5 to 4 so it wasn’t quite a unanimous decision as the development was hotly debated for pros and cons.

The plans were described by councillors as ‘exceptional circumstances’, meaning the plan for such a large development of luxury flats in such density goes against LBRUT and London planning policies. The ‘exceptional’ in this case is weighing up the development up against £8 million that the plans would give LBRUT to use for affordable housing elsewhere in the borough. Other councillors have pointed out that this clause is often used by developers but should be in the context of an already identified site (this is not yet), also the design of the blocks wasn’t to their liking. Funding for affordable housing generally isn’t an issue in the borough, but finding the land for it is.

Other positive aspects considered are the opening up of access to a new public river walkway and the planned media centre at Richmond College that Haymarket will also fund. The adverse effect the development would have on primary education in the area was played down in the face of the other benefits to education within the borough in general.

No approaches had been made for a new tenant to move into historic studios that would have kept them open so this was a case of deciding the best use for the site vs it being empty. Recognition of the history of the studios is included as a condition – a walkway including the existing Blue Plaques will form part of the development. The catalyst for this development Pinewood announcing their intention to leave Teddington in 2011 and when their tenancy finishes at the end of this year. it will see the end of the studios association with the area that has lasted 100 years.

The Environment Agency originally objected to the plans but reversed their viewpoint due to flood mitigation and evacuation plans. Haymarket at a meeting earlier this year stated that the river would be used as much as possible to transport material to and from the site during work – reducing the impact on nearby roads. 258 parking spaces (mostly underground) will help reduce any parking overspill into surrounding roads.

Planning Update

PlanningSince planning laws changed to allow easy change from commercial to residential use, applications for these types of changes have rocketed – there have been over 300 applications in the last year in Richmond Borough alone and business groups are starting to worry about the amount of office space available.

The latest of these in Teddington is for Livingstone House on Queens Road (next to Teddington Memorial Hospital). If approved, the plans will see an extension and existing office space remodelled to create 14 flats from the second floor upwards. Unusually though this building has lots of space for parking spaces that will be allocated to the new flats (26 in total).

The renamed Teddington and Ham Hydro group after initial feedback has withdrawn the original plans for Teddington Lock and submitted new ones designed to enhance the visual amenity of the structure that will house the turbines.

This is a result of working closely with local agencies including the Teddington Society the River Users Group (containing most of the sports clubs that use the river), the RNLI and the Environment Agency. Comments to support or object to the plans can be added until the deadline of 13th of October.

Zac Goldsmith: “In addition to promoting community cohesion, we are creating a pioneering scheme which will generate local employment and provide environmental benefits and community gain. I’m proud that my community is at the cutting edge.

A public drop-in session will be happening this Friday, 10th October 7:30-9:30pm at Tamesis Club if you wish to learn more about the hydro-power scheme.

The fight continues against Sainsbury’s opening a new store in the Teddington conservation zone as do efforts to raise funds to fight the decision in the courts. Previously Calligaris stated that they would be moving to a new location even if Sainsbury’s lost the court battle, but they have announced that they will actually be staying in this case (as well as opening a new store in Kingston).

Work on London Square, the large development on Waldegrave Road is continuing. Nearby residents have concerns about late night work on the site so if you also have issues with noise from the construction, contact LBRUT.

Pizza Express was recently closed for refurbishment and is now celebrating the launch of its new look with interior décor paying tribute to locally born famous playwright, actor and singer, Sir Noel Coward. Artwork on display has canvasses inspired by the lyrics of Noel Coward’s popular songs ‘Mad About the Boy’ and ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’, as well as posters of films he starred in. As part of the re-launch, locals can use this printable voucher for 25% off all food (excludes Saturdays).

Teddington River Festival this Sunday

EventsThis Sunday, 27th July 2014 sees the return of the Teddington River Festival and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever!

Whether you visit the river frequently or not, there is loads going on at various sites on either side of the Thames and the central island.

Live at The Lock (stage on the central Lock Island)

11:15am Twickenham Operatic Society
12:00pm Infinity Dance Troupe
12:40pm Foxy the Funky Genie Magic Show
1:20pm Richmond Music Trust Jazz Band
2:00pm Sunday’s Child
2:40pm Mad Dog Stick Collective
3:20pm The Ukaye Ukes
4:20pm The Doors Alive


Teddington Lock Island
Pimms, Beer & Cider Bar sponsored by Fullers
RNLI books & souvenirs
Thames View Photography Exhibition sponsored by The Flying Cloud Café, MAA Architects & Outerspace Limited
Boat & River Related stands
Boats on display in the Barge Lock including The River Thames Boat Project the Thames Venturer
Kayaking Taster Sessions by The Lensbury Watersports Centre

Ham Tow Path
Craft & community stands
Food & refreshments
Fairground rides & Inflatable Assault Course
Port of London Authority Water Safety Games
Boat rides by The Lensbury Watersports Centre
Public Conveniences

Teddington Lifeboat Station
Visit the Lifeboat Station
Coffee & Cakes
Indoor Rowing Competition
Climb aboard a lifeboat
Dress up in lifeboat kit
Throw the line competition
Disabled Conveniences

Manor Road Recreation Ground
RNLI souvenir, gifts, books, DVDs, boats, hoopla & lottery stands
Craft & community stands
Ice-cream & coffee
Fairground rides, trampolines & inflatable slide

On the River
RNLI river rescue demonstrations (1pm, 3pm & 5pm)
Skiffing with the Skiff Club
Ferry between the Lock Island & The Wharf

If that’s not quite enough for you, an after-party will be taking place from 5pm at The Anglers with hog roast and live Music by The Ukaye Ukes and The Doors Alive.

It’s also an open day at Teddington Lifeboat Station (by the Wharf Restaurant) to check out the facilities and chat to the volunteer team about the work they do. Richmond Police and Teddington RNLI recently teamed up to promote awareness of the dangers of swimming in the Thames with increased incidents and call-outs during the hot weather.

The above installations each containing one tonne of water by Kingston and Richmond bridges are to help promote the Respect The Water campaign which demonstrates how powerful the river can be.

[Update] Some photos from the festival here: and video by Twilmedia:

Photo Update

A recent shout on the Thames for Teddington RNLI. After a GoPro camera was donated to the crew, expect more dramatic footage that shows the valuable service that our lifeboat station provides for this stretch of the Thames.

On this occasion five people were stood on the edge of Kingston Bridge and one jumped in to the river. Teddington RNLI say he is lucky to be alive – from their experience there is a 50/50 chance of dying from jumping from here and no-one should jump from any bridge into the Thames due to impact, hidden debris and strong currents. Responding to people entering the Thames deliberately uses up valuable time for the volunteer crews as well as police on foot and helicopter teams.

There were almost too many great snaps of the a recent vibrant double-rainbow over the area but this is definitely a fave! Photo: Rusvalerius.

‘The walk’ – a great shot of the fading light in Bushy Park by Cononr McCully.

Poppies have been planted at Manor Road Recreation Ground, Teddington Lock and five other sites by LBRUT to mark the centenary of the First World War. Photo: Stephen Marcus.

The 60 Minute Makeover team were spotted in Teddington recently and despite best efforts to keep the visit a secret, a group of fans grew outside but Peter was only too happy to stop for photos. The team from Beating Bowel Cancer also stopped to say hi and were snapped along with the lucky recipients! The 60 Minute Makeover team had to do some secret preparations in Teddington Business Park car park.

An infrared shot of Bushy Park that makes it seem a lot cooler than it has been lately! One of a series of local IR alternative pics by photographer Marcus Hamilton.

‘Boxing stags’ by perpetual early riser Max Ellis. You can now see some of Max’s work up close and personal on the walls of Jackson-Stops & Staff.

The Teddington Pram Race made a triumphant return on Sunday with The Skiff Club winning fastest team, (winning a NPL clock), The Masonettes from the Masons Arms winning a Julian Bovis framed print for most sponsorship raised and the Teddington Jesters band winning best team for their mobile musical accompaniment during the race! Organisers are estimating that fund-raising will top £3000 and the race will be back bigger and better next year! Photos: Emma Durnford.

This year’s Village Fair, organised by the Teddington Society and Landmark Arts Centre proved to be hugely popular. A particular crowd-pleaser were Theatre Company Les Enfants Terrible performing the Marvelous Imaginary Menagerie.

Photo Update

Spring has sprung edition! Two bursts of colour that herald the start of spring captured by Derek Winterburn – a blanket of crocuses at St Mary St Alban Church graveyard.

Also the spectacular blossom in the Woodland Gardens of BushyPark

The Mayor at St Mary and St Peter’s primary school showing the winning design for the recent Road Safety poster campaign.

Mild weather early in the year led to a head start for some flowers – these crocuses made an appearance but had second thoughts after heavy rain leaving some daffodils to tower over them. Photo: Emma Durnford.

Creatures captured early morning in Bushy Park by Max Ellis – a deer and friend seen via a warming sun and an early stroller through the trees.

Sunrise over the Thames – clearly an incentive to be an early riser! Photo: Ian and Sue

Teddinton Antlers Ladies: “Absolutely nowhere better for a post game drink than Bushy Park – stunning evening“. Photo: Ali Donnelly.

Planning Update

PlanningPlans for the redevelopment of the Teddington Studios site have now been submitted to the LBRUT planning application process and are available online for comment.

Following comments and concerns from residents and interest groups, the layout of the buildings have been revised to create more open space on the riverside, the height of buildings has been lowered and the number of homes reduced from 250 to 219. Also cited as a concern, 258 parking spaces will be included via ground level and underground parking areas.

The proposed plans include more open space along the river for the local community to enjoy – a landscaped area which can be accessed via two boulevards leading from Broom Road to a riverside promenade along the entire river frontage of the site. The existing blue plaques that commemorate many of the stars that have performed at the Studios will be incorporated within this public area in order to mark the history of the site.

[Update 20/06/2014] The Richmond College and Haymarket plans have been given the go-ahead from the Government and once plans are agreed with Richmond Council, construction on the project will begin in the summer of 2015 with Haymarket’s new HQ due to be completed in late 2016.

The £30m London Square development planned for 101-105 Waldegrave Road has been in the media lately after it’s approval by Richmond Council. The 0.9 acre site is a former light industrial (originally a dairy) and office building – work on the 24 dwellings with basement parking will begin this spring.

A £14million five year plan has been approved by the Lensbury Board to improve and refurbish many buildings and leisure facilities, create an outdoor pool and extend the existing gym as well as adding a heavy weights facility. Amongst the plans is a riverside restaurant which for the moment is withdrawn citing ‘impact on MOL and flooding issue’.

Spurred on by the recent floods, ThamesAwash is a campaign to pressure the government to go-ahead with already approved “Lower Thames Flood Risk Management Strategy (RTS)”. This proposes measures to reduce the risk of flooding via the construction of three flood diversion channels and improvements to Sunbury, Molesey Weirs and Teddington Lock.

If you wish to sign the petition to register your support for the scheme, you can sign this online petition that could protect 21,000 homes on this stretch of the Thames from the effects of flooding.

After securing the project funding, the construction of a new Teddington RFC and Teddington Town CC clubhouse in Bushy Park is progressing well. If anyone has been confused by the ‘beard’ sign-posts in Bushy Park, this is to direct the construction company (Beard Construction Ltd) to the construction site!

Also the mews-style houses on the previous site of Kingston Road petrol station have started to take form with basements already created and frames constructed.

Photo: 5plus Architects

River Thames level expected to rise

NewsRecent heavy rainfall in the already-saturated Thames catchment area is swelling the river downstream to levels already higher than those in 2003 when the area experienced serious flooding.

14 severe flood warnings have been issued along the length of the Thames up to Shepperton and river levels are expected to rise for at least 24 hours, with further heavy rain forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Increasingly severe flood warnings along the Thames. Click to enlarge or view the live flood warning map here.

The Thames has already overflowed in places:

Water in Ferry Road was up to the Boat Shop door this weekend. Photo: MAA Architects.

The Thames near Hampton Court. Photo: Dan Beasley.

Cars caught out by rising waters by Hampton Waterworks. Photo: Jed Leicester.

Reminder: you can monitor Teddington Lock river levels hourly on this page and next low/high tide times here. If you’re interested in how the Thames Barrier closures helps the Thames upstream, this BBC article explains the process well.

Update:This helicopter footage shows the impact of Thames flooding along the course of the river through Berkshire and Surrey.

After water rose above the landing pontoon for Trowlock chain ferry, visitors to the island improvised by making a new one from picnic tables. Photo: David Charles.

The Thames spilling into Manor Road Gardens (a sight seen often since the New Year). Photo: Sunshine Soon.

[Update 12/02/2014] River levels haven’t been quite as bad but recent downpours are expected to add to the river height in the near future. Richmond Council have plans ready to put into action if required. Some areas along Kingston riverside have had sandbags laid in advance of more rain and further flooding from the Thames.

Some residences in Hampton Wick have received letters to inform residents that sandbags will be delivered as a precaution. These ‘at risk’ areas will receive sandbags by the weekend (15th Feb) but those in any areas along the Thames should consider measures to take in advance to prepare for any potential flooding.

See LBRUT flooding info page for more information.

The Environment Agency ARC (Acoustic Remote Control) deployed near Teddington Lock to monitor the water flow and volume to assist in predicting future flooding higher up the river. Measurements taken showed that at 11:30am the river was flowing at 2.5 metres a second (usually 1m).Photo: Emma Durnford.