This reviews various locations that Richmond Council has identified to provide a mooring for the Royal Row Barge Gloriana and to build a bargehouse.
ii Gloriana is a large vessel at approximately 27 metres long x 4 metres wide x 4 metres high. A bargehouse large enough to provide for maintenance, public access, crew facilities and storage would need to be some 32 metres long x 10 metres wide. A height of up to 8.5 metres would be necessary to provide a mezzanine floor above the bow of the barge to provide a crew room, education, storage etc. In addition a floorspace of some 100 square metres is desirable for a café and visitor centre.
iii All three locations identified by the Council in the brief are subject to very onerous town planning policy constraints. The most significant of these are the London Plan 2011 and Richmond Core Strategy policies of maintaining the openness of Metropolitan Open Land – a designation that applies to all three locations. The potential sites have a planning policy status akin to Green Belt.
Option1: Buccleuch Gardens
iv A bargehouse and slipway is proposed at the southern end of the garden. The footprint of the building is minimised by utilising the existing adjoining toilets and converting the nearby open terrace into a visitor centre.
v In our opinion this option would have a substantial adverse impact on the openness of Metropolitan Open Land at the point where there is a transition from the gardens to Petersham Meadows. There would be a loss of trees and green recreation space. Richmond town planners advise that the provision of a bargehouse together with a café and visitor centre would be contrary to policy.
Recommendation: Reject Option 1
Option 2: Gothic House Site
vi A bargehouse is proposed at the level of the upper footpath requiring excavation of the upper terrace levels to provide sufficient depth of site to accommodate the barge. A flat roof is proposed that would be at the same level as Petersham Road enabling it to be used as a roof terrace in the same way as the C18th and C19th boathouses in Richmond.
vii It would be necessary to move Gloriana into the bargehouse by crane but a leading crane supplier has advised that it would be impractical to do so due to the very large foundation block needed to support a crane with an arm length of 13 metres. In addition Richmond town planners have advised that this site is not acceptable due to a range of town planning policy constraints.
Recommendation: Reject Option 2
Option 3: Marble Hill Park / Orleans Gardens
viii The brief focuses on opportunities in Marble Hill Park but we consider this to be impractical given the constraint of the Hammertons Ferry pontoon, the high river bank and the potential impact on the Marble Hill Historic Park and Garden.
ix There is, however, a potential site in Orleans Gardens where there was a creek and C19th boathouse that has been demolished with the site occupied now by a café and part of a children’s play area. The site has good road access and can provide level access for disabled people.
x We have developed proposals to re-open the creek to provide a wet dock and covered bargehouse where Gloriana could be securely housed, maintained and displayed to the public. In addition, a tidal mooring is proposed at the entrance to the wet dock. Additional floorspace is proposed on a mezzanine level for crew room, storage and education. The existing café is relocated in the form of an adjoining single storey building of 100 square metres.
xi There are a number of important issues that need to be resolved including:
1. Negotiation with Hammertons Ferry / Port of London Authority (PLA) to reduce the length of the pontoon mooring that obstructs the access to the proposed bargehouse. 2. Negotiation with who has a tenancy of the existing café
3. Demonstrate the exceptional case to justify development on Metropolitan Open Land.
4. Detailed design of wet dock infrastructure including sluice gate to maintain water level at mean high water.
5. Detailed design of building. Both Richmond Council town planning officers and English Heritage have indicated agreement in principle to a building on this site but have expressed concern about scale and bulk.
Recommendation: Take Option 3 forward to resolve issues 1 – 5 above
Option 4: Use an existing boatyard and provide a mooring at Richmond
xii The operators of Gloriana used a site provided by the PLA at Denton Wharf, Gravesend in 2012/13 for winter storage and maintenance that extended from mid-November to mid-April. This site is available for winter storage 2013/14.
xiii Existing boatyards in Richmond Borough with large slipways are heavily booked during the winter for maintenance work on passenger boats. We have evaluated the possibility of establishing a boatyard at the Council owned sites at Cruisemaster, Eel Pie Island and the wharf at the Lower Sunbury Road and a privately owned slipway on Platts Eyot.
xiv We have identified a potential buoy mooring below Richmond Bridge and a site for a new pontoon mooring upstream of Richmond Pier. The operators have indicated that they would not wish to leave Gloriana on a mooring at Richmond for extended periods due to concerns about potential vandalism and trophy hunters but mooring on an occasional basis, with adequate security, is viable. Recommendation: Reject the split site option of using an existing boatyard for winter storage and a River Thames mooring for public display Conclusion
xv The constraints we have identified in this study indicate that, in our view, the only option that meets the full project objectives is Option 3 Orleans Gardens.
Adams Infrastructure Planning Ltd
6 Water Lane,
T 020 8940 4526
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