• Minutes of Council, Tuesday, 22 July 2014

‘ . . 18. Public Questions

(a) Ms Mandie Adams McGuire: “The current consultation questionnaire on the Council website does not allow for a YES/NO button to the scheme as a whole and a question which asks, “Do you want the Gloriana in Orleans Gardens Riverside or not?”.  Would the Council agree to change/amend the consultation questionnaire to enable these responses to be considered?”

The Leader (Cllr Lord True): “I have considered carefully the point made here and have looked at the consultation. I don’t think it would be justified to start it all over again; I think question two asks very clearly if people think that the site is appropriate with answers graded from very appropriate which I would take means yes, to not appropriate at all which means certainly no, which I think a lot of people in the hall would agree with.  I think that is a clear question and allows for a clear yes/no answer.”

Ms Adams McGuire asked whether the Leader would acknowledge that this was a misleading consultation because of the statement on the Gloriana website, which in effect took the matter outside of the borough? The Leader said that there was widespread interest in the matter and he stated that the points made, including where they had come from, would be carefully considered when taking a decision.

(b) Dr Susan Burningham: “How can Councillors be sure that the disadvantages to the local Riverside community, such as loss of a peaceful green space, the additional volume in traffic and parking, the loss of protected animal and plant species incurred through the housing of the Gloriana in Orleans Gardens are outweighed by the perceived benefits to members of the wider community of Richmond Borough who rarely visit the gardens but simply like the idea of having a replica royal barge somewhere in the Borough?”

The Leader: “The points raised are obviously important ones. The purpose of the pre-planning consultation and, if it occurs, a planning process is actually to help weigh up such matters.”

Dr Burningham asked whether the Leader felt that the play area was being improved by the construction of a boathouse? The Leader said that the consultation was eliciting a range of responses which would be considered in due course.

(c) Ms Anne Keane: “Why, in these times of austerity, when so many essential services are being cut, does the Council choose to make over £1m of Council tax payer’s money available for the Gloriana boat project?”

The Leader: “Essential services are not being cut to enable the Gloriana project.”

Ms Keane queried whether this was an accurate response as services such as police stations, prisons and waste collections were being cut across the country?  The Leader said that the Council was responsible for only one of Ms Keane’s examples, waste collection and this service was not subject to any cuts.

(d) Ms Sarah Webster: “How does the council sanction consulting with residents in the borough on concept drawings rather than real plans and will the Council be in a position to produce to-scale drawings of the boathouse within its surrounding environment – specifying all dimensions – before the end of the consultation period?”

The Leader: “This is a pre-planning consultation. Detailed drawings will have to come forward for planning which is a later stage. It would have been quite wrong not to have some emerging conceptual designs prepared by the architect for consultation and that is what has been put forward.  It gives a very clear impression of the emerging thinking of the architects.”

Ms Webster asked why the architect had not produced dimensioned drawings, showing the scale of the proposed boatyard? The Leader said that some surveys were still being undertaken and comments on the proposal were already being taken into account. He added that the architect would be required to produce such plans if the matter was to be put through the planning process.

(e) Ms Margaret Hine: “In relation to the Gloriana proposal, what surveys (geological, hydrological, environmental, biological) have been carried between January 2013 and July 2014?”

The Leader: “A topographical survey has been undertaken and completed and an ecology survey is currently underway.”

Ms Hine asked whether the dates of the surveys could be made available?  The Leader said that he would ask the Director of Environment to make this information available.

(f) Miss Nicky Adams: “In relation to the Gloriana Proposal, Are you planning to use Marble Hill House and Orleans Gallery for extra parking?”

In the absence of Miss Adams, a written answer [has been] supplied: “There is the potential for future visitors to Orleans Gardens, as there is now, to use the existing local parking facilities offered at Marble Hill House and Orleans Gallery. We are not looking to introduce additional parking areas”.

(g) Mr Mark Brownrigg: “What sites other than those reported in the consultation has the Council examined and will it now please look at all other potential locations and give reasons for any that are rejected? If not, why not?”

The Leader: “No other sites were considered in detail at this stage, other than those identified within the feasibility study. The feasibility study does give those details. There was a scoping exercise which took a view, as I understand it, of other sites. If this site does not prove possible it will up to the Gloriana operators, not the Council, if they wish to consider other places.”

Mr Brownrigg asked how residents can be assured that the feasibility would be subject to fair assessment?  The Leader said that the feasibility study was competently exercised against the requirements set out by Gloriana’s operators and the Council. The resultant proposition would now be determined by the community.

(h) Mrs Martine Stickland: “Since Richmond Council do not own the Gloriana and will not have any say over its movements, how will they actively promote a tourist attraction that is absent for the greater part of the visitor season?”

In the absence of Mrs Stickland, a written answer has been supplied: “It is the expectation that an operating agreement will be entered into that will ensure a minimum presence for the Royal Rowbarge to be presented from within the boathouse. In addition to that, and to support the historical, maritime and educational benefit, there is also the potential for other rowbarges/vessels to be housed and exhibited from the boathouse.”

(i) Ms Mary Farmer: “Can the Council justify to the public their proposed expenditure of over £1million of tax payers’ money on the proposal to develop a new river park on Orleans Gardens?”

The Leader: “Yes, the council believes that Gloriana is an exceptional creation. It is a great work of art conceived, designed and led by one of our outstanding local craftsman.  It will become part of the national heritage and it was presented to the Queen to mark the Diamond Jubilee, an event that no one alive and probably no one ever will ever see again. This represented a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire the presence or enable the presence of that asset within the borough and that is what the Council has put before the public.”

Ms Farmer asked whether a business plan had been produced which showed the financial benefits, should Gloriana be housed within the borough?  The Leader said that the Council was not intending to operate Gloriana as a business.  Instead it was a social, charitable, educational and historical opportunity.  He added that a level of investment was needed and the Council had offered up to 1/3 of the capital cost.

(j) Mr P Bigley: “In relation to the Gloriana Proposal, which company or companies were engaged to make the feasibility study in 2013, and who actually paid them to do it?”

The Leader: “The feasibility study was done by Adams Infrastructure Planning Ltd and it was commissioned and paid for by the council.”

Mr Bigley questioned whether Cllrs were truly unaware of the proposal, given that the feasibility study was conducted in 2013?  The Leader said that the proposed site was judged by the feasibility study to be the most appropriate.  He added that this formed part of the Council’s proposal to better link Ham and Twickenham and promote better use of the Thames.

(k) Ms Bronwyn Baud: “Can the Council confirm there are no plans to expand the car parks at either Orleans House Gallery or Marble Hill House to facilitate more traffic visiting the Gloriana?”

The Leader: “Yes, I can confirm that. There are no more plans, we will seek no plans, there will be no more traffic.  In fact, we are launching a consultation with local residents to see if we can actually reduce the traffic problems which are already in that area.”

There was no supplementary question.

(l) Mr Michael Frost: “Please advise where the tender documents for the selection of consultants for the initial concept/feasibility study required to complete the ‘Gloriana Boathouse’ project proposals now received by the Council can be inspected or if no tendering process was undertaken for the selection of consultants,  please advise where appropriate Council documentation regarding consultant selection can be inspected?”

The Leader: “This was a specialist study involving a number of technical elements such as engineering, marine, tidal and other factors and in accordance with the provisions of the Council’s financial regulations and contract standing orders it was commissioned as a specialist appointment.  The feasibility study has been published but I am sure that other documentation could be made available subject to the normal confidentiality rules surrounding such matters. My view is that we should be absolutely as open as possible.”

Mr Frost asked whether the original enquiry was published as a public tender?  The Leader said that it was commissioned as a specialist appointment by the Director Environment.  Specialist knowledge of the area was required and the Leader defended the appointment.

(m) Ms Colette Chesters: “In respect of the ‘Gloriana’ proposed development has the Council considered that if it were to go ahead it could attract ‘professional’ environmental protesters as seen at (for example) the Newbury Bypass protest (it cost Newbury Council 24 million pounds in security, police and Magistrate Court costs) and can the Council justify this potential cost to Richmond residents if the development was to go ahead?”

In the absence of Ms Chesters, a written answer [was] supplied: “Thank you, this is a very valid point to consider going forward. These are initial proposals and it is helpful for the Council to get an indication, at this early stage, what the level of response is, what the issues are, what concerns people have and what support there is. Following this consultation, there will still be a number of stages to go through, including a formal planning process, and risks, including costs such as you describe, will most certainly be taken into consideration.”

(n) Mr Henry Boxer: “In England there are several Parliamentary Acts, and in particular the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act, which make it a criminal offence to damage or destroy or obstruct a bat roosting place.  Many bats are known to roost in the old veteran trees in Orleans Gardens, and in Orleans House and Marble Hill. Does the Council not agree that seven species of bats, including the Noctule, Daubenton’s and Pipistrelle, (several of which are rare), will therefore come under threat because of the Gloriana development and the subsequent need to light the bargehouse at night (for security purposes), which too will adversely affect bat feeding habits, and therefore their numbers?”

The Leader: “The question was an extremely important one and as you know Madam Mayor, bats have statutory protection.  They are very valued animals and the matter will be subject to all the usual careful environmental considerations in relation to those animals.”

Mr Boxer asked whether the feasibility study had pre-empted certain points, principally because it stated that the area was of little value to wildlife, in particular bats?  The Leader disagreed and said that an opinion had been put forward by the producer of the feasibility study. An ecology survey was currently underway which would highlight any impact on wildlife and make recommendations accordingly.  He emphasised that the process was in its very early stages and all comments and recommendations would be taken very seriously.

(o) Mr Tony Thorne: “In view of the fact that Gloriana will often be in use along the river, having made the journey to this secluded spot, will visiting tourists be satisfied with an empty dry dock and a stagnant lock?”

In the absence of Mr Thorne, a written answer [was] supplied: “It is the expectation that an operating agreement will be entered into that will ensure a minimum presence for the Royal Rowbarge to be presented from within the boathouse and this will be publicised to notify visitors of when Gloriana would be located in the boathouse. It is also the intention to display boards, provide educational materials and contextual information regarding the Royal Rowbarge that will be permanently displayed. There is also the potential for other rowbarges/vessels to be housed and exhibited from the boathouse.”

. . (19b) Cllr Roberts asked the Strategic Cabinet Member for Environment, Business and Community:

“What advice has she received from the Planning Department and the Mayor/GLA as to the acceptability in planning terms of a scheme such as is proposed to house Gloriana in Orleans Gardens given the general presumption against any significant built development in this location?”

Cllr Fleming, the Strategic Cabinet Member for Environment, Business and Community: “Initial planning advice has been sought from the planning department and the Port of London Authority. Cllr Roberts will have seen the feasibility study now and the reference in it to the London plan and the Council’s own Core Strategy and Development Management Plan.  Of course, whilst these policies do support protection, they can in exceptional circumstances recognise and support development. Advice has been received and includes the need to consider the type and the height of the construction, the views to Ham House, the relationship to the river, the replacement and rebuilding of the café and the playground and of course other matters, including flooding.”

Cllr Roberts asked Cllr Fleming when the proposals and feasibility study relating to Gloriana were first shared with her as Cabinet Member and her other Cabinet colleagues?  The Cabinet Member said that the Leader had already answered this question earlier in the meeting.

Cllr Linnette asked the Cabinet Member to confirm that this was a pre-planning consultation and what the next steps were after its conclusion? Cllr Fleming confirmed that it was a pre-planning consultation following the feasibility study.  It was added that the purpose of the consultation was to engage people about the conceptual drawings that had been prepared and seek feedback on them. The Cabinet Member stated that there would be more detailed plans if it was decided to take the proposal forward, which would be consulted upon as part of the full planning application.

Cllr Elengorn asked whether it was foolhardy to commission any work without seeking the Mayor of London’s views, because the Mayor had the power to direct refusal on any application affecting Metropolitan Open Land? The Cabinet Member said that the feasibility study did mention the London Plan.  She re-emphasised earlier points about the benefits of hosting a heritage asset.


. . (5l) Written question from Cllr Cardy to the Strategic Cabinet Member for Environment, Business and Community: “Is the cabinet member including insurance costs in the budget for Gloriana?”

Written answer from Cllr Fleming: “No, this is a matter for the Trust.”


• Sources: Minutes of meeting and Written Answers to Public Questions


• 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


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



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


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


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



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



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:


• Quote for the day: June 03 2014


1.1 MF noted that Lord Sterling and JA had attended a meeting with XXX. MF had not been informed of the meeting until during the following design team meeting. At the design team meeting the Marine Engineer produced a design drawing which MF had no knowledge of. MF expressed his concern about meetings happening in parallel to the core design team and the obvious confusion this can cause. JA said that the design drawing had not been produced as result of his meeting with XXX.Nevertheless it was noted that the Project Manager (MF) must be kept fully briefed about intended meetings with the design team and communication in general needs to be open . . ‘

Extracted from the minutes of the team meeting June 03 2014.

Residents and ward councillors are not the only people being kept in the dark, it seems . .

Source: A Freedom of Information request to the council from Sasha Katarina