From the Feasibility Study [August 2013]:
Extract from the Council’s Brief:
4.77 The third option is to look at a location for the Gloriana on the opposite side
of the River in the Twickenham area in Marble Hill Park close to Orleans
House Gallery. This is slightly more complicated in as much that Marble Hill
Park is not owned by the Council. The site is owned by English Heritage and
the park, whilst a public park, it is in fact the gardens and grounds of Marble
Hill House. The adjacent Orleans House Gallery is a Council asset although
this is now held in trust.
4.78 Locating the Gloriana in this location would fit in with the Council’s
Twickenham Area Action Plan for the redevelopment of the Twickenham
area, and in particular the creation of river park and cultural quarter running
from the Marble Hill Park down to Diamond Jubilee gardens in central
4.79 The issues around ownership of the site could prove complicated. However,
there could be clear benefits to EH and Marble Hill House by the attraction of
more visitors to the site which could impact on the number of visitors to the
House which we understand has been falling over recent years.
4.80 Planning issues could be slightly more complex here the proposed site is
Public Open Space and within the curtilage of two listed buildings as well as
being within a designated conservation area
4.81 The brief for construction and mooring would follow the same lines as that for
options 1 & 2 above.
Suitability of a site in Marble Hill Park
4.82 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 Park (see Figure 4.14 below).
This statement is noted as being incorrect in item 4.9 page 15 of the report.
4.83 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 the café and part of the children’s play area. We therefore evaluate
this as ‘Option 3 Orleans Gardens’.
4.84 Plans and elevations of the proposed bargehouse, café, wet dock and
mooring are shown as Figures 4.15 – 4.18.
4.85 A bargehouse is proposed on the site of a C19th boathouse that served
Orleans House (see Figure 4.19). This took the form of a covered wet dock
and part of the quay wall, that formed the entrance from the River Thames,
and a subterranean passage that linked the site to Orleans House survive. It
is likely that the original wet dock survives under the children’s play area and
café that were built following the acquisition of Orleans Gardens by the
Borough of Twickenham in 1928. There is evidence for this on the foreshore
(see Figure 4.20).
4.86 The proposed bargehouse is a lightweight structure that has a crew room,
storage and potentially education facilities in on a mezzanine floor that
extends across the northern half of the bargehouse. There is an adjoining
café that provides a replacement for the existing café that would be
demolished. It would be necessary to relocate two items of play equipment
comprising a slide and a maze.
4.87 Gloriana would be floated into the bargehouse at high tide by means of a wet
dock. It would be necessary to construct a lifting bridge for pedestrians where
the wet dock crosses the existing riverside footpath. A guillotine sluice gate
would retain the water in the wet dock at Mean High Water so that Gloriana
would be raised high enough for display.
4.88 It would be necessary to shorten the length of the Hammertons Ferry pontoon
at its upstream end to enable access into the proposed bargehouse.
4.89 A mooring is proposed using the quay wall that previously formed part of the
entrance to the Orleans House boathouse. It would be necessary to
undertake dredging of the foreshore to ensure sufficient water depth at the
retained (half tide) water level.
Access and Vehicle Parking
4.90 There is an existing service vehicle access to the site from Riverside and
there is adjacent public parking in Riverside and Orleans Road.
Site Evaluation – Land Ownership, Covenants and Cost of Site
4.91 The site is mostly within the Council’s registered title TGL283358. Part of the
area proposed for use as the bargehouse and café is the site of an existing
cafeteria that is subject to a lease
4.93 The plan attached to the 1928 conveyance to the Corporation includes the
land on the foreshore but this is excluded from the registered land. It may
have been excluded if the Land Registry ruled that it was affected by erosion
but this appears unlikely as the bank is artificially supported and may have
been altered deliberately. If the Council is unable to secure registered title,
then it will belong to the Crown, in which case, the Council will need to secure
the necessary rights to occupy the land, in addition to those required under
the byelaws mentioned in the following paragraph.
4.94 PLA Byelaw 48 is relevant in relation to the creation of the wet dock. In
addition, the Council would need to seek the consent and necessary rights to
use that part of the foreshore where dredging is to take place. If it is
necessary to deepen the river adjacent to the wet dock in order to provide
sufficient draught, this will also require the consent of the PLA as it will involve
interference with the river bed.
Operation of the Bargehouse
4.95 It would be possible to move Gloriana into the bargehouse at high tide, subject
to an agreement with the operators of Hammertons Ferry to reduce the length
of their mooring pontoon. It would also be possible to exhibit the gilded stern
of Gloriana by moving her to the open part of the wet dock on summer days.
4.96 The glazed wall of the bargehouse adjoining the proposed terrace and café
would work well together to provide a visitor attraction.
Navigation and Marine matters
4.97 The Harbour Master has no in principle objections to this option but would be
interested to hear how the Master of the Gloriana envisages manoeuvering the
vessel into the wet dock. This is because the existing Hamilton Ferry pontoon
as existing would obstruct easy access to the boathouse/wet dock/slipway.
The PLA has commented that In general terms negotiation with the licensee
is the way forward if you require them to modify their pontoon layout. Whilst
licences do generally have clauses in them relating to revocation / alteration /
removal of works we cannot exercise these powers lightly (For example
navigational reasons, impact on river regime or a breach of the terms of the
licence could be a reason to revoke a licence) and there is an appeals
process to the Department for Transport.
Public Open Space
4.98 The area proposed for the bargehouse comprises public open space.
4.99 Inspector of Historic Buildings and Areas, has commented In
principle, English Heritage would support the proposals outlined in your option
3, for a new boathouse and dock on the site of the long-lost former boathouse
to Orleans House.
4.100 The site is within the Twickenham Riverside Conservation Area, and adjacent
to the Grade II* registered landscape of Marble Hill Park. It is also close to
Marble Hill House itself, which is listed at Grade 1, but unlikely to impact upon
its setting. The Grade 1 listed Octagon Room of the former Orleans House
overlooks the park in which the proposed boathouse would be situated, and
views towards the river from this room should form an important consideration
in your detailed design. We would recommend that the design of the
boathouse is subtle and low-key to preserve the open character of this well used
part of the Riverside. It would not necessarily be appropriate to design a
replica of the former, lost, boathouse, given the changes to the context of the
land since it was brought into public ownership many years ago.
Loss of trees and scope for new planting
4.101 Option 3 would result in the loss of the London plane tree shown growing out
of the riverbank in Figure 4.21. It would be possible to plant a replacement
tree within Orleans Gardens.
4.102 The proposed bargehouse would be some 8.5 metres [28 feet] high but it would be set
well back from the riverbank. The barge house is in the vista from Ham House
and should be designed so as to provide a focal point on this axis
Education / Visitor Centre and Commercial Considerations
4.103 The Assistant Development Control Manager has advised that it would be
acceptable to relocate the existing café into the proposed development
provided it has an equivalent floorspace. This would mean that there would be
limited scope for a visitor centre other than the space within the bargehouse.
4.104 The front of the proposed bargehouse is located within an area designated as
Zone 3a flood risk where it would be necessary to meet the Exception Test to
justify development in this location. It would be necessary to design the
bargehouse to mitigate the effects of possible flooding.
4.105 The site of the bargehouse is developed for the café and play area already
and has little value for nature conservation. The area shown for the proposed
mooring may, however, be occupied by the Depressed River Mussel,
Pseudanodonta complanata. This is only found in London on the north bank
of the River Thames between Twickenham and Richmond. The mussel is not
legally protected but it is a species of principal importance for the conservation
of biodiversity in England and Richmond Council is one of the managing
agents for its protection. It would be necessary to survey the site and, if found,
undertake mitigation measures.
Synergies with local tourism, arts and education venues
4.106 In our view this location could work well with the Council’s objectives of
establishing a cultural quarter in this part of Twickenham with a physical link
to Orleans House, via a reopened subway, and an added attraction in the
vicinity of Marble Hill House. There would be the prospect of attracting
visitors from across the water on the Surrey bank by means of Hammertons
Prospect for securing full planning permission and other necessary consents
4.107 The Council’s Assistant Development Control Manager has
advised that whilst contrary to policy, this site is the most suitable out of the
three. The site is located within Metropolitan Open Land, adjacent to Other
Site of Nature Importance, within a conservation area, adjacent to an Historic
Park, within the Thames Policy Area and in proximity to listed buildings.
4.108 The advice says key areas to be addressed in a planning application include:
1 Address height adjacent to road – need lightweight construction – any
building shouldn’t be overbearing on this narrow road or out of keeping
with park setting;
2 Views across to Ham House;
3 Establish relationship with river;
4 How will be managed / linked to Gloriana – don’t want to accept boat
house then Gloriana doesn’t get moored here;
5 Scheme should replace facilities (café, toilets, playground) – should be
accessible for all to use;
6 Flooding issue – flood defences; and,
7 Need more details of size / uses
4.109 Huntley Cartwright estimate the cost of Option 3 to be approximately
4.110 In our view this site offers the only realistic opportunity to develop a
bargehouse within the three locations identified in the brief. 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 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
4.111 If these issues can be resolved we consider that a bargehouse in this location
could work well in raising the number of visitors to the waterfront in
Twickenham. It could provide a measure to add to the attractions of Orleans
House Gallery and revive interest in the adjoining Marble Hill House and
Park. It would provide a new focal point for the view from Ham House.
Take Option 3 forward to resolve issues 1 – 5 above
Extracted unabridged from Feasibility study on the location of the Royal Row Barge ‘Gloriana’ (and Boat House) within the Borough. Final Report August 2013