Trustees of the Twickenham Riverside Trust have yet to reach a decision on relevant aspects of the Council’s proposals for redevelopment of Twickenham Riverside.
On 2nd August 2021, Richmond Council submitted its planning application for the redevelopment of Twickenham Riverside.
The Diamond Jubilee Gardens on Twickenham Riverside are part (approx. 25%) of the proposed development site and, since 2014, the Twickenham Riverside Trust has held a 125-year lease on most of the land that makes up the Diamond Jubilee Gardens.
The Council has laid out an alternative space within the new development, and on the Embankment, for the Trust to occupy for the remainder of its lease.
Trustees have not yet reached a decision regarding the Council’s proposal though are engaging intensely and having regular discussions. Trustees are receiving and debating advice from both its legal adviser (BDP Pitmans) and its surveyor (Carter Jonas).
The Trust is a charity set up in 2012 with the central object to “protect, preserve and enhance” the Twickenham Riverside and its environs. It will be required to demonstrate to the Charity Commission that the re-provided Gardens are ‘not less in area’ and ‘equally advantageous’ to the Trust and the public when compared to the public open space of the existing Gardens.
Should the Trust determine the offer from the Council is acceptable, its decision would go to the Charity Commission for final approval.
Should the Trust determine the offer from the Council is unacceptable, the Council has said that at the end of September 2021 it will commence legal action to attempt to secure the Trust’s leasehold Public Open Space within the Diamond Jubilee Gardens via a Compulsory Purchase Order.
With the submission of its planning application, the Council has finalised its proposal, and in doing so has now allowed the Trust’s surveyor, with input from the Trust’s legal adviser, to issue various reports.
Trustees are in the process of reviewing these reports and will be seeking further advice where necessary.
The Trust remains in contact with the Council regarding its proposals for the redevelopment of Twickenham Riverside and hopes to be in a position to make a decision before the end of September.