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Prince of Wales shocks Ham with surprise meet and greet
Prince Charles surprised neighbours in Ham when he toured the area and met people living there ahead of a large housing rejuvenation project.
The Prince of Wales toured Ham Close, owned by Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP), after the Prince’s Foundation was brought in to create a vision for the area.
The Prince of Wales said Ham Close was a “marvellous area” and admired the green space, which residents said they feared losing ahead of the project.
The mayor of Richmond Councillor Meena Bond, Richmond Park MP Zac Goldmsith and Richmond Council leader Lord True were among those to greet the future King of England when he arrived this morning, March 26.
Lord True said: “It is marvellous that he is taking a strong personal interest in this community project in Ham.
“Seeing all these people around here today shows how delighted they are to see him.
“I think that everybody that heard and met the Prince of Wales was struck by the really deep and genuine interest he has in Ham.”
The prince was invited into people’s homes, popped into the newsagents and visited Ham library during his tour.
He was given a large pretzel to share with his family by baker Perta Braun.
She said: “I made him a pretzel and told him it was for him and his family.
“I said that since he is almost German he might like it. He was very nice and very relaxed.”
Co-chairman of the Ham Close Residents’ Association Elizabeth Blishen said the association was re-started following the project announcement.
She said: “We are all anxious not to lose the green space – that is a big concern.
“There are several possibilities on the table but none of them have been decided yet.”
Ros Elliot, customer service manager at RHP, took the prince on a tour around Ham Close, which has of 192 homes.
She said: “At the very early stages RHP was asking customers and the wider public what they feel is important to them.
“We really need to be building more affordable housing in London and by engaging with the community early on then we are able to do that quite sensitively.”
The visions for the area put forward by the Prince’s Foundation include enclosing the green into a square or redevelopment of the existing blocks.
The concepts will be taken forward by the council and the community to try to determine a sustainable future for Ham Close.
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