A petition calling on Richmond Council to swap parking for green space in Twickenham has reached more than 800 signatures.

Launched by Twickenham Riverside Park Team, the petition provides an alternative version of the proposed redevelopment, with a “riverside park” in place of the parking spaces by the river, while also suggesting underground parking could be built under an “integrated” Town Square.

The group wants no vehicles entering the space except for “special arrangements” like farmers’ markets.

The parking proposed in the Twickenham Riverside Consultation, which aims to revamp the area by river, has had strong opposition.

In the latest consultation (Summer 2017), 51 per cent of 457 respondents agreed with the potential uses for the ground floor of the buildings.

However, 66 per cent disagreed and 52 per cent strongly disagreed with the proposed parking arrangements- most think too much space has been allocated- with only 22 per cent agreeing or strongly agreeing.

In the council’s 2015 consultation, a new ‘Town Square’ was suggested, along with a proposal to remove parking from the Embankment in front of Diamond Jubilee Gardens to “enhance views of the river”.

However, the council seemed to change tack in the latest consultation saying that they had listened to residents but that “parking in this area is outside the boundary for the planning application”.

As well as this, the council proposed an additional 50 spaces for the development.

A spokesman for the group said: “I don’t understand why they made the U-turn.

“They have to listen to what people say.

“In all of the consultations people have said they want to move the parking from the riverside.

“That’s confirmed in the latest results of the consultation.

“That’s confirmed by the number of signatures on our petition and we have more signatures than responses to their consultation.”

Responding to the petition, a Richmond Council spokeswoman said views about parking on the Embankment “have always been mixed”.

She said: “Some residents want to retain the parking on the Embankment, particularly those that live in the immediate vicinity of the site including residents on Eel Pie Island, as do Twickenham’s businesses, whilst other people want it removed.

“The council understands residents’ concerns, indeed previous studies have shown the Embankment parking to be well used and at times under pressure.

“However, with regards to the current project to redevelop the former pool buildings and King Street corner, the Embankment parking falls outside the site boundary for the planning application.

“Nevertheless, the council has commissioned a study to look at parking across the whole of central Twickenham, which includes the Embankment.

“This study will not only look at local need, but it will also look at need in the future – including modelling future car use and shifts in modes of transport.

“The current redevelopment project on the Riverside doesn’t preclude changes to the Embankment parking at a future date.”

The Twickenham Riverside Park Team, which is also calling for an “open competition” on building and landscape designs, has a variety of “technical experts”, one of which is an architect working on their proposed design.

For the site, they have suggested a boutique hotel, boathouses, and/or a Lido with a cafe and restaurant, along with an increase in the size of the playground.

To view the petition go here: https://www.change.org/p/a-town-square-and-riverside-park-for-twickenham?recruiter=778054639&utm_sou