The proposals for Twickenham riverside "fails to open up the riverside" and has "too many flats", according to the Twickenham Society.

LAST MONTH: Twickenham riverside war of words continues as Richmond Council's deputy leader defends allegations of "hypocrisy"

PREVIOUSLY: Regency-style ampitheatre and town square plans revealed for Twickenham riverside - but it could include up to 40 flats

Doug Orchard, the chairman of the society and former mayor of Richmond, has branded the plans "unacceptable", with the public consultation closing on Friday.

Richmond Council plans to develop a shop-lined arcade with as many as 40 flats, linking King Street with the riverside, by spring 2019.

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

The multimillion pound scheme, which has been designed by architects Quinlan and Francis Terry, will see the Embankment pedestrianised, with an underground car park created to offset the loss of parking spaces.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Twickenham Society chairman Doug Orchard criticised the riverside development plans

Mr Orchard said: "The views of our members have been sought via emails, letters and at a meeting of the society and the overwhelming response is that the Quinlan and Francis Terry phase two plans, as they stand, are unacceptable for the following reasons.

"They fail to open up Twickenham Town Centre to the river and they do not provide a town square, as promised.

"The size of the riverside building is far too tall and overbearing for the site and is not complementary in style and formation to surrounding retail streets, specifically Church Street.

"There are too many flats being proposed - especially in view of past history."

He said that there was "disappointment" over the consultation and that the council should have revealed other tenders to the public.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

A new town square in King Street is part of the plans, due to be completed by spring 2019

A grand Regency-inspired ampitheatre is at the centre of the proposals, which will be made up of three storeys including residential development.

Mr Orchard added: "The Twickenham Society will support the council when members consider that what is proposed will benefit the riverside site and its environs but sadly cannot support this proposal."

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.

Deputy leader Councillor Geoffrey Samuel said: "Obviously it is disappointing but it would be interesting to know how many people were at that meeting.

"Sometimes people who speak on behalf of a society don't always terribly represent the views of those in attendance.

"I think a substantial number of criticisms can be answered, although not all of course."

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Councillor Geoffrey Samuel said a number of residents' concerns will be "answered"

He highlighted parking for Eel Pie Island residents as an issue which could be resolved as the scheme develops.

Coun Samuel added: "Councillor Pamela Fleming said she is on the way to saying how that might work."

Leader of the opposition Councillor Gareth Roberts said: "The Tories really need to take notice of this intervention from the non-partisan Twickenham Society.

"Councillors True and Fleming can blather on about Barefoot consultations and All in One surveys as much as they like but it's pretty clear that this proposal is about as popular as Nick True's 'crystal palace for a fairy craft' boat shed.

"They should go back to the drawing board and this time show a little humility, not grandiose vision."

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Former council leader Serge Lourie said the Tories have shown themselves to be "hypocrites"

Former leader of the council Serge Lourie, whose Lib Dems proposed a controversial 'millionaire's row' on the riverside, said the scheme is larger than his own proposals in 2008.

He added: "We were routinely criticised for proposing an enabling development right at the back of the site so I found it extraordinary that they have come up with a scheme that comes right up to the waterfront.

"I rated Quinlan Terry's Richmond scheme but this one seems to make all the mistakes we were criticised for and I think it is hypocritical of the Conservatives."


Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Day eight of the Lib Dems' mock-up advent calendat, depicting Coun Samuel as a pantomime dame

Richmond's Liberal Democrats have continued to poke fun at the Tory administration with a series of advent calendar mock-ups on Twitter.

Councillor Geoffrey Samuel has been portrayed as a pantomime dame, Lord True as a Christmas pudding and Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith as a court jester.

Behind each window, the @TRLibDems account has raised what it perceives to be hypocritical quotes from council cabinets.

Fortunately, deputy leader Coun Samuel has a sense of humour about the matter.

He said: "I never reply to personal attacks, they demean the attacker and not the victim.

"But I am glad to see one or two of them have a sense of humour."


Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Diamond Jubilee Gardens will be included as part of the development

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 feasibility 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