• Report for Council Cabinet meeting July 9 2014

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Date: 9 July 2014

Report of: Leader of The Council & Strategic Cabinet Member for Environment, Business And Community   [lightly edited for length]

Gloriana Boathouse

1. Matter For Consideration

1.1 The construction of a boathouse, wet dock, new café and enhanced

playground on the river bank in Orleans Park on the site of the former

Orleans House Boat House as a permanent home for The Queen’s Royal

Rowbarge Gloriana.

2. Recommendations

2.1 To provide Cabinet with a report on progress made in the design of a boathouse as

a potential permanent home for Gloriana in Orleans Park, Twickenham,

2.2 To seek Cabinet approval of a Capital contribution towards one part of the total cost

of the project capped at £1,000,000 and to offer support to any funding applications

and fund raising activities by and on behalf of other organisations and agencies

required to achieve the funding for the overall project.

3. Detail

3.1 The Royal Rowbarge Gloriana was presented to Her Majesty the Queen as

a lasting legacy to mark her Diamond Jubilee and played a prominent part in

the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant At the naming ceremony Her Majesty

asked that Gloriana be maintained by Lord Sterling and the Maritime Heritage

Trust. She approved the principle that Gloriana will be used to promote better

use of the Thames and has given permission for it to be used for charitable

and other ceremonial uses.

3.2 The vessel is a unique work of art. It was designed by a local Master Boat

Builder and constructed by a team of locally-led craftsmen. She is designed to

last for up to 200 years and is expected to be one of the few lasting

memorials to the exceptionally rare historical event of the Diamond Jubilee of

a long reigning monarch. No one alive will again witness such an event. It is

essential that she has a safe and secure home to act as a permanent base

with easy access to the water for her charitable and ceremonial functions and

a boathouse that can be used for winter maintenance and storage.

A number of boroughs expressed an interest in providing a permanent home

for Gloriana. Once aware of the opportunity, the Council encouraged the

potential interest in a site within the Borough. The trustees for the rowbarge

favoured Richmond in view of the Borough’s long royal connections and the

historical importance of river borne traffic to the growth of Twickenham. They,

like the Council were also mindful of the role of Borough craftsmen in her

creation.

3.3 As part of the scoping process, The Council and trustees commissioned a

feasibility study to explore options for the potential location,and the

construction of a boathouse along the River Thames within the Borough. The

study eventually explored four options for locating the barge; Buccleugh

Gardens in Richmond; the Gothic site in Richmond; Marble Hill Park/Orleans

Park in Twickenham; and, existing boatyards in Council / private ownership

within the borough. Following further analysis and research all sites except for

Orleans Park were considered unsuitable for technical, construction or

planning reasons and the recommendation was to develop a scheme for

consultation on the Orleans Park site. Following further consideration the

trustees for the rowbarge have decided that they would wish to make a

planning application for a boathouse later this year.

3.4 In relation to the land at Orleans Park, the Council own the freehold to this

site. It supports in principle the proposal to have the boathouse located on it,

as this fits within a wider strategy to developing a river park and to enhance

appreciation of the riverside in Twickenham. The site is classed as Public

Open Space. The securing of planning permission will be challenging and a

significant risk to the project.

The site was previously used in the 19th century as a boathouse whose

substructure remains. It thus provides a clear association with the heritage use

of the site. The scheme will also need to satisfy the requirements of the Port of

London Authority (PLA), the Environment Agency (EA) and English Heritage (EH)

who will be key consultees. It will also be necessary to reach agreement with the

Spencer family, as operators of Hammerton’s Ferry, as some modification of their

moorings will be necessary to obtain access from the river to the proposed

boathouse while ensuring continuing operation of the ferry and encouraging

water borne traffic.

Project Programme

3.4 At the moment a professional team has been engaged which includes

Architects Foster and Partners and Marine Engineers Beckett Rankin

(amongst others) to develop the scheme up to RIBA Stage D (Submission of

a Planning Application). As stated above a Feasibility Study has been

completed. Designs are being progressed to allow an application to be

submitted following a pre-planning public consultation. This consultation is

planned to take place throughout July. This and any subsequent comment will

provide necessary feedback back into any proposed scheme going forward.

The aim is for the boathouse and associated works to be constructed and

completed ready for use in the autumn of 2015.

3.6 There is a risk that the project may not progress beyond planning. To

mitigate the aborted costs risks associated with this, all of the consultant

appointments include a break clause that will allow us to terminate the

appointment at any time. This would minimise the Council’s exposure and

liability to additional professional fees should the project not progress. For

example, if the project was to be stopped at the end of July 2014 then the

Council’s liability for professional fees would be circa £70,000. An amount

that is well within the limits of the Environment Department`s underspend in

2013-14.

3.5 The key Project Milestones are as follows:

Public consultation July 2014

Planning application submitted with further public consultation*

August – December 2014 Throughout this time, further design development will be carried out

Subject to Planning and Funding:

Construction to begin February 2015

Construction to finish September 2015

Project Funding

3.6 An early cost estimate has been produced as part of the feasibility work. This

estimates overall costs to be in the region of £3m. This includes for the

construction of a wet dock and associated engineering works as well the

construction of the boathouse and new café facility. It excludes the costs of

the relocated playground, which would need to be met from Environment

Directorate budgets. All of the figures will need to be reviewed, added to and

updated in more detail as the project and the design progresses.

The intention is that the boathouse part of the project will be funded through a

combination of Council capital up to £1m, external grant (HLF application) of

£1m and associated sponsorship, fundraising and donations of £1m. The

development and delivery programme is such that it is sequenced to ensure

that spend commitment is only made in accordance with specified milestones

of delivery and that the programme is subject to regular review and

governance through a Programme Board. The Council’s Capital contribution

is wholly dependent upon the success and security of the other funding

sources as mentioned above and there is y no commitment to underwrite any

shortfall if that other funding is not secured to fully fund the project.

3.7 A funding application has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

in light of the preservation and restoration of the local history and heritage of

the site. Subject to the formal assessment process, a funding decision on this

application will be made in September 2014. Given the anticipated long life of

the vessel and the importance of the Diamond Jubilee, it is expected that over

generations the Gloriana will acquire major heritage significance in addition to

its intrinsic artistic value. Its availability for charitable uses and the

opportunities to promote schools investment in the river will meet other

criteria . . ‘

Boathouse Design Development

3.8 Initial design proposals are available in the consultation. The brief was for the

boathouse to be of a simple and elegant design which is sympathetic to the

environment and location, and provides a secure home for the boat when it is

moored in Twickenham. The design allows for winter maintenance activities

to be undertaken providing the correct environmental conditions for the barge.

It is proposed that the boathouse is to be constructed from timber and glass.

Indicative ground plans and design illustrations will be provided for the

consultation.

3.9 A wet dock is to be constructed which allows for the boat to moored outside of

the boat house so it can be displayed to the public on occasion. This is the

most complex engineering aspect of the project as the dock will need to be

formed along with gates that allow the depth of the water to be managed to

allow the barge to be manoeuvred in and out of the boathouse easily.

Specialist marine engineers are developing this aspect of the design.

Town Planning

3.10 Planning represents one of the biggest risks and challenges to the project.

There are a number of key statutory consultees that will need to support and

approve the proposals as part of the planning process. The main consultees

being the Port of London Authority, The Environment Agency and the Greater

London Assembly.

A pre planning consultation is being planned to take place

in July where the outline designs and models will be on display and which will

importantly give the public and local stakeholders the opportunity to comment

and have an input on the proposals. The aim is to submit a formal planning

application no earlier than August depending upon the outcome of pre

planning consultation. This will enable planning consideration in the Autumn.

An ecology study will be undertaken to identify the environmental impact of

the project and set in place any measures required to reduce any impact

Land Ownership

3.11 The land at Orleans Park is owned by the Local Authority. There are some

title and ownership issues to resolve for the construction of the wet dock.

Records indicate that there was an area of land on the river bank which was

once in the ownership of the Council. This area appears to have been

removed at some point in the past and now forms part of the river.

Discussions with the PLA are ongoing to either obtain ownership of this area

or to agree a licence or lease to allow the construction of the wet dock to

progress.

Stakeholders (Café, Ferry)

3.12 There are a number of key stakeholders that the Council are engaging with as

part of the project. One is the Council’s tenant who leases the café in Orleans

Park. Under the proposals the café is to be re-built in a design and

construction that complements the new boat house and surroundings. The

current lease does not expire until 2021and discussions are taking place with

the café tenant regarding an earlier surrender if terms cannot be agreed. A

café will remain onsite as now with our overall objective for its operation being

by a local business or individual rather than by a national or international

chain.

3.13 Hammertons operate a ferry between Orleans Park and Ham House from a

pontoon adjacent to the proposed wet dock. Plans for the scheme will mean a

section of the pontoon will need to be removed and the ferry re-located further

along the pontoon. Discussions have taken place and are ongoing with the

ferry operator. This may also have implications for some of the private boat

moorings along this stretch of the river, which may also have to be reprovided

for. This will be part of the planning process. The Council’s policy is

to promote river borne traffic and the project will not interfere with that.

Children’s Playground

3.14 Under the proposed scheme, the play area will be re-built and re-located next

to the proposed boathouse. The play area would be on a similar size and

scale as it is now. During the construction period, based on the final design

and construction methods used, the play area may need to be temporarily

relocated in Orleans Park. If that is necessary, it will be done. The Council will

not close the playground and is committed to keeping play facilities open

throughout the works. Reports that the play facilities will be closed are simply

false.

3.15 Traffic

Traffic considerations are a key part of the planning process. The Council has

no wish to or intention to promote more motor traffic in the area. There will be

no facilitation of through traffic, no removal of the Riverside barrier, no new

car park or tourist centre and no concreting over of the gardens. The Council

is aware of existing problems in relation to visitor parking in this area. We

willbe consulting residents on how to ease these problems whether or not the

Gloriana project is approved.

4 Finance & Efficiency Implications

4.1 The estimated cost of the project is £3,000,000. However, and at this stage,

this estimate is subject to a revised costing being produced at a more detailed

design stage, including in respect of the costs for playground and the café

that are excluded from the above. The proposals for funding are detailed

above. This report is requesting a Capital contribution of up to £1,000,000

towards the scheme. If this is financed from borrowing , the revenue cost of

this borrowing is estimated at £80k p.a. and Treasury Management budgets

will need to be increased in future years to accommodate this cost . .

7. Consultation & Engagement

7.1 A detailed pre-planning consultation on the scheme proposals will run from

the 1 to 29 July 2014. This will include an online consultation where local

residents, general public and other interested parties will be able to record

comment on the scheme. There will also be a display of the scheme located

within the Civic Centre and an exhibition/public sessions to be held at Orleans

House Gallery on 18th, 19th and 20th July which will be attended by Council

Officers and the key members of the design team.

7.2 A formal statutory consultation will also form part of the planning process, in

the event that a planning application is submitted. Along with the public

consultation, this process will also require the consultation with statutory

bodies such as the Environment Agency, the Port of London Authority and

Greater London Authority.

8. Wider Corporate Implications

 . . 8.2 Risk Considerations

The key risks are identified as follows:

Planning Permission – there is a risk that the scheme may not obtain planning

consent. The Council are mitigating this risk through pre -planning consultation as

described above with residents, stakeholders and statutory bodies.

Funding – it is not guaranteed that the HLF bid and other fundraising activities will be

successful. The Council are mitigating this risk by only appointing consultants to key

project milestones, along with, and providing for, break clauses in all of the

Consultant Contracts which allow the project to be stopped at short notice limiting our

exposure and liability on fee expenditure.

Local Opposition – Misleading information about the scheme has been distributed in

the area. It is essential that the correct, current plans and proposals are issued into

the public domain as part of the consultation process. This occurred on the 1 July

2014 and will form the basis for a proper dialogue with residents, in the immediate

vicinity in Twickenham and the wider Borough.

 . . 12. Contacts

Councillor True  Leader of the Council Cllr.LordTrue@richmond.gov.uk

Councillor Fleming Strategic Cabinet Member for Environment, Business and Community cllr.pfleming@richmond.gov.uk

Ishbel Murray Assistant Director of Environment 020 8891 7310 ishbel.murray@richmond.gov.uk

David Sharp Head of Construction and Maintenance 020 8487 5108 david.sharp@richmond.gov.uk

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