A grand Regency-inspired ampitheatre is at the centre of the Twickenham Riverside proposals, which could include as many as 40 flats.

POLL: Overwhelmingly negative reaction to Twickenham riverside plans on social media - what do you think?

Richmond Council plans to develop a shop-lined arcade, linking King Street with the riverside, by spring 2019.

The multimillion pound scheme will also see the Embankment pedestrianised, with a new underground car park created to offset the loss of parking spaces.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Councillor Pamela Fleming and Francis Terry, of Quinlan and Francis Terry, were at the launch of the consultation over Twickenham Riverside on Monday​

The three-storey development includes between 20 and 40 apartments, as well as retail space, which will fund the ambitious project.

Three buildings in Water Lane and King Street, currently housing Superdrug, Santander and M&Co, and a car park were purchased in a £6m deal by the council last year.

Councillor Pamela Fleming, cabinet member for environment, said: "For a long, long time people have wanted a link down to the river and having bought those buildings, we can fulfil the vision, the dream that everyone wanted.

"We wanted this really open space for people, so that they could enjoy the riverside.

"We have seen how much people value the Diamond Jubilee Gardens so creating that link is important.

"It is hugely exciting for us because this has been developed as a concept by local people and businesses from the very start."

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

A shop-lined arcade proposes to link King Street with the riverside

However, she said the council could not say how much the scheme will cost but that it would be funded by the commercial and residential developments.

There could be as many as 40 residential flats included and the council says it is exploring provision for affordable housing and shared ownership schemes.

The Water Lane junction with King Street will remain a no right hand turn, while the Hands charity will have to find alternative accomodation.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

The ampitheatre could be used for drama performances during the summer months

The architects, Quinlan Francis and Terry, also designed the iconic Richmond riverside in the 1980s.

Francis Terry said although bidding was "unusual" for them, the company's link with the borough swayed them.

He added: "As architects, we were able to think about what is the best thing to do - there were no real restrictions in the brief."

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Plans show how Diamond Jubilee Gardens will be linked with the river

The proposals have been designed by considering previous consultations, including Barefoot, All in One and the Twickenham Area Action Plan.

Twickenham Alive's Teresa Read, whose proposal for a lido on the riverside was rejected by the council, criticised the decision-making process.

She said: "I haven't seen the proposals yet as I have been prevented from seeing it but, from what I have been told, it looks pretty bad and is against everything the people of Twickenham have ever wanted.

"It has been chosen by somebody living in East Sheen - when you are here, you know the history and understand what people want - they just don't."

Councillor Gareth Roberts, leader of Richmond's Lib Dems, said it was a "missed opportunity" and accused the Conservatives of not learning from his party's own mistake.

He said: "I've made no secret of the fact that I think we, as a party, made mistakes over our handling of the Twickenham riverside development.

"However whereas we have learned from those mistakes the same can't be said for the Conservatives.

"Had somebody told me that one day the Conservatives would be presenting a vision for a three story development on Twickenham Riverside which was largely funded by luxury riverside housing I wouldn't have believed them, yet this is precisely what they offering."

To see the plans, visit richmond.gov.uk/twickenham_rediscovered or visit the pop-up exhibition at 27 Church Street on Tuesday-Friday (11am-3pm) and Saturday (11am-5pm).

The public consultations remains open until December 11.


November 2014: Richmond Council spends £6m on three buildings in King Street and Water Lane for development

July 2015: Quinlan and Francis Terry awarded the contract to create new 'link' from high street to the riverside

November 2015: Proposals unveiled in month-long public consultation

January 2016: Outline design and feasability study incorporating consultation feedback

October 2016: Planning application to be submitted

January 2017: Building on former bath buildings and car park space to begin

January 2018: Development of King Street buildings to begin

Spring 2019: Construction completed