• Minutes of Cabinet July 09 2014

 ‘ . . 23. Cabinet considered a report of the Leader of the Council and

Strategic Cabinet Member for Environment, Business and

Community which provided an update on progress made in the

design of a boathouse as a potential permanent home for Gloriana

in Orleans Park, Twickenham and sought consideration of a capital

contribution to the project capped at £1,000,000.

Lord True provided an introduction to the consideration of the

matter and in doing so, indicated that the consultation was currently

only on day 9 and provided the opportunity for residents across the

Borough to share their views on the proposal. He indicated that

given the summer holiday period, it would be appropriate to extend

the consultation until end of August to allow maximum time for

residents to participate. He explained that it was the Council’s belief

that the vessel was an attractive work of art created uniquely to

mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and was also a working river

vessel, created by a Borough craftsman and that a potential

permanent home in the Borough would be both fitting and of local

benefit.

He explained he had authorised the process by which the

Feasibility Study had been commissioned and the potential site

options explored. No planning application had been submitted to

date and he noted that much of the information being sought at the

current time could only be provided as the project developed. He

explained that Cabinet at its September meeting would consider the

matter again, including the results of the consultation. He stressed

his commitment on behalf of the Council to a full and open dialogue

on the matter with the community and urged residents to read the

consultation document provided and base their views accurately on

that rather than some misinformation that had been circulated by

others.

___________________________________________________________________

Prior to consideration of the item, Cllr Chappell indicated that

she wished to propose three amendments by way of a positive

response to issues upon which residents in the vicinity of the

proposed site had already expressed strong views.

The amendments were proposed as follows:

1. Recommendation 2.1 in the report to remain as printed.

2. Additional Recommendation 2.2 to read as follows ‘Cabinet to

note that if agreed the proposals would include a rebuilt children’s

playground, provision of a temporary play area, a rebuilt café and

toilets.’

3. Additional Recommendation 2.3 to read as follows ‘Cabinet to

receive a further report with the outcome of the public consultation

which will be extended until the end of August 2014.’

4. Additional Recommendation 2.4 to read as follows’ That the

further report to also provide details of the Trustees proposed

operating and management arrangements, the outcome of a full

parking and traffic survey and a comprehensive review of

environmental implications.’

5. Recommendation 2.2 in the report to remain the same and be

renumbered as 2.5.

___________________________________________________________________

Ms Mandie Adams McQuire addressed Cabinet. She explained that

along with many other residents she did not object to the proposal

that Gloriana should be provided with a permanent home in the

Borough. She did however indicate that in her opinion the proposed

site at Orleans Park was not the right location given the existing

legislation protecting the riverside vista and the potential implication

the development of the boathouse would have on the ecology of the

area. She highlighted concerns about the size of the boathouse, the

potential for the Council to incur any ongoing maintenance and site

costs and questioned the overall benefit to the residents of the

borough.

In response to some of the points raised, Lord True

explained the role of the Council’s Planning Committee in their

detailed consideration.

___________________________________________________________________

Mr Paul Bigley addressed Cabinet. He reiterated the importance of

the protected riverside view and highlighted concerns about the

proposed financial contribution from the Council to the scheme. He

outlined his belief about the size and scale of the proposed

boathouse and potential implications relating to security, local

ecology and wildlife and the safety of children utilising the

playground. He requested that Cabinet consider his view that the

development should not proceed on the grounds it would have a

serious impact on a much treasured green space in the Borough.

In responding to the points raised, Lord True commented on the

security aspects of the dock during the development stage and

beyond and the role of the Planning Committee in considering

health and safety matters.

___________________________________________________________________

Ms Caroline Dyball addressed Cabinet to raise concerns and a

number of detailed questions regarding the Council’s proposed

financial contribution to the project. In particular she sought further

information relating to any ongoing financial liability the Council

would incur for the Gloriana, whether the £80,000 revenue costs

were fixed or may rise, who would be liable for further financial

contribution if the project exceeded the money committed and how

money already spent had been approved. She expressed particular

concern about the Council contributing to a scheme for a boat over

which it did not have ownership and the commitment of the

Trustees for the boat to remain in the Borough in the long term.

In responding to the points raised, Lord True explained that in order

for funding to be sought for schemes of this nature from the

Heritage Lottery Fund, the Trustees had to demonstrate that the

Council had offered a financial commitment. He indicated that full

responses could be provided to the questions raised either at the

current time if the information was available or as the project

developed.

___________________________________________________________________

Ms Anne Keane addressed Cabinet. She raised a number of points

regarding the proposed scheme and highlighted that the views of

residents should be paramount in determining the future of the

riverside. She expressed concern about access to the site during

construction and thereafter, potential impact on the environment,

potential loss and relocation of the play facilities, the industrial

nature of maintaining a river vessel and associated on-site storage

and the fact that the Council did not own the Gloriana. She sought

to understand why a site based in a conservation area had formed

part of the Feasibility Study when commissioned.

In responding to the points raised, Lord True acknowledged the

Council was aware of existing access issues in the Orleans Park area

which would be investigated with a view to reducing current levels of

traffic irrespective of the proposed development.

___________________________________________________________________

Mr Martin Davies addressed Cabinet. He indicated that it was his

view that the Cabinet report did not provide enough information

regarding specific elements of the project and that this was similarly

reflected in the ongoing consultation. He requested that the

Feasibility Study be published and stressed the importance of

maintaining the riverside vista. He expressed concern at the

proposed loss of Metropolitan Open Land and the planning matters

which he felt were insurmountable.

In responding to the matters raised, Lord True explained that it was the

Council’s belief, on the basis of professional advice received to date that

the planning matters, with careful consideration and detailed further work

could be overcome. He reiterated the Council’s commitment to an

ongoing, open dialogue with residents about the matter and

undertook that the Feasibility Study be made publicly available.

___________________________________________________________________

Mr Barry Edwards addressed Cabinet. He requested that Cabinet

vote not to proceed any further with the project as a response to the

strength of feeling which had been put forward by local residents.

He expressed his view that sufficient detail was not available at the

current time and that the site at Orleans Park should not have been

included in the Feasibility Study at the outset. He sought

assurances that the Council’s actions in dealing with the matter had

been properly and transparently carried out. He requested that

reference to Orleans Park , Twickenham be removed from

Recommendation 2.1 as printed.

___________________________________________________________________

Mr James Barrett addressed Cabinet. He questioned why the

Feasibility work had not been made public and the matter not

considered formally until the current time. He raised concerns about

the openness of the consultation and urged Cabinet not to proceed

to vote on the matter whilst the consultation was still in the early

stages. He expressed a strong view that it was his opinion that

residents of the Borough, particularly those close to Orleans Park

did not want the project to proceed.

___________________________________________________________________

Cllr Ehmann addressed Cabinet on behalf of the residents of

his ward (St. Margaret’s and North Twickenham). He expressed

concern about the way which the consultation had been handled

and sought assurances that the proposals, if progressed would be

dealt with openly. He noted that residents of St. Margaret’s and

North Twickenham did support the proposal to house Gloriana

within the Borough, but not on the site as proposed at Orleans Park.

___________________________________________________________________

Mr P Chadwick, Director of Environment addressed Cabinet. He

indicated that the consultation documents in his view accurately

presented the position of the project at the current time and that

some information would only become available at later stages in the

project. He provided approximate dimensions for the boathouse as

being 30m long, by 9m wide and approximately 7 – 8m in height and

agreed that dimensions would be added to the consultation

documentation. In referring to health and safety issues, he noted

that whilst barriers did not appear on the consultation outlines,

health and safety matters would be fully considered at later stages

in the project.

He acknowledged the questions raised regarding site

operational matters and reminded Members of the proposed

additional recommendation relating to this. He explained the

approach which had been taken to commissioning the Feasibility

Study and the narrowing down of suitable proposed sites. He noted

that the document would be published, with the exception of some

elements which related to commercially sensitive matters. Mr

Chadwick noted that drop-in sessions would continue to take place

for residents wishing to raise questions / seek further information

and as proposals continued to be developed by the appointed

consultants, information would be shared with residents.

___________________________________________________________________

Mrs G Norton, Chief Executive addressed Cabinet regarding the

procedural matters which had been raised by a number of

speakers. She outlined the position regarding the need for the

Council to indicate a financial commitment to allow the Trustees to

seek additional project funding and noted that the commitment

would only be actioned should the other financial elements be in

place. She confirmed to Cabinet Members it was her view that there

had been no breach of procedure in dealing with the proposed

project.

___________________________________________________________________

Cllr Chappell commented on the accessibility and parking

issues. She welcomed the commitment that these traffic matters

would be reviewed irrespective of the Gloriana proposals. With

regard to the playground, she noted that residents would not lose

any of the existing play facilities available to them in the park –

indeed they could retain current equipment if they wished. She

urged residents to work with the Council to share their views on

what they would like for the children.

___________________________________________________________________

Cllr Samuel addressed Cabinet and noted his commitment

over many years to the town of Twickenham and the importance of

ensuring its continued redevelopment. He stressed his personal

familiarity with and affection for the site concerned. He explained

the challenge in connection with any proposal for change in

balancing the valid views of the residents in the immediate vicinity

of the proposed site and those equally valid views of the wider

borough and determining a way forward which would provide

maximum benefit for the Borough as a whole.

He expressed the positive benefit which he felt housing Gloriana on

the riverside in Twickenham could provide for the town. He indicated

that the Council’s proposed contribution to the scheme had been

capped and, subject to the overall funding secured for the scheme if

implemented, may end up being less than anticipated. He

explained how the Council’s Capital Programme was funded and

reminded Cabinet Members of the significant investment from the

Environment Directorate budget in uplift schemes in Hampton,

Whitton High Street and other areas of the Borough. He underlined

strongly the Leader’s proven personal commitment to Twickenham

and its continued transformation and development.

___________________________________________________________________

Cllr Marlow commented on the matters raised and in

particular the opportunity for the extended consultation to allow all

residents of the Borough to share their views on the proposals.

___________________________________________________________________

Cllr Fleming expressed her continued commitment to work

with residents to consult and co-develop the local community and

cited Diamond Jubilee Gardens as a positive example of such work.

She indicated support for the additional recommendations proposed

by Cllr Chappell and highlighted the role of the Planning

Committee in considering detailed matters regarding access,

environmental and safety issues.

___________________________________________________________________

Cllr Hodgins indicated the continued challenge in consulting

on significant development projects and the requests of residents to

consult early with detailed proposals which was often not possible.

He expressed support for the progression of the proposals. ___________________________________________________________________

Cllr Speak agreed to take away the request to carry out

detailed work relating to transport and traffic matters which would

benefit the locality irrespective of the progression of the boathouse

proposals. He noted the accessibility issues included those of

footfall. He indicated a willingness to meet with residents on site to

discuss any concerns.

___________________________________________________________________

In summing up the discussions, Lord True acknowledged the

strength of feeling which had been expressed by the speakers on

behalf of some residents of the Borough. He committed to

continuing an open dialogue regarding the matter and to sharing

information with residents as soon as possible. He encouraged

residents to engage actively in the consultation process and remain

open minded as further information emerged and the false

information circulated prior to the consultation was corrected. He

noted that the consultation would provide a whole borough view and

that at day 9, it was not possible to predict what it would be. In

considering the playground, he requested that a User Group be

established to work with the Council to develop the provision and

ensure it met the needs of local children and their families.

___________________________________________________________________

The additional recommendations as outlined were formally

proposed, seconded and agreed.

Resolved: That Cabinet:

1. Notes the report on the progress made in the design of a

boathouse as a potential permanent home for Gloriana in Orleans

Park, Twickenham.

2. Notes that if agreed the proposals would include a rebuilt

children’s playground, provision of a temporary play area, a rebuilt

café and toilets.

3. Agrees to receive a further report with the outcome of the public

consultation which will be extended until the end of August 2014.’

4. Notes that the further report would also provide details of the

Trustees proposed operating and management arrangements, the

outcome of a full parking and traffic survey and a comprehensive

review of environmental implications.

5. Approves 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.

___________________________________________________________________

The minutes of the July 09 cabinet meeting are at:

https://cabnet.richmond.gov.uk/documents/g3435/Printed%20minutes%20Wednesday%2009-Jul-2014%2019.00%20Cabinet.pdf?T=1

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