Plans to turn lock-up garages into affordable housing are to go ahead, despite delays to a scheme to develop Twickenham Riverside.

Council leader Serge Lourie announced the controversial development of the riverside site, with plans to build 32 houses and a river centre, had been halted last month.

He revealed a contract would not be signed with developer Countryside Properties until after the council elections in May and until he was satisfied with the firm’s accounts.

In May, Richmond Council’s planning committee approved plans to knock down lock-up garages in Sherland Road, Twickenham, and Railway Road and Shacklegate Lane, Teddington, to build affordable housing.

The demolition of the garages was part of the council’s linked sites strategy, which involves building 13 three-bedroom affordable houses on the garage sites and not insisting on affordable homes on the riverside site.

The plan angered residents, who lodged a formal complaint against the planning decision, particularly as the scheme would lead to the destruction of a wildflower and wildlife garden in Sherland Road.

But Councillor Stephen Knight, Richmond Council deputy leader, said plans to develop Sherland Road were first made in 2004, prior to the adoption of the linked sites strategy, and were changed to permit affordable homes only after the strategy was adopted. He said plans were still on the table.

He added: “Our linked sites strategy is associated with the development of a number of sites across the borough including Friars Lane and Twickenham Riverside.”

“In the case of the riverside, the strategy will allow us to minimise the amount of development near the river, and hence maximise the amount of the site available for new public open space.”

Sherland Road resident Julie Hill said: “We are extremely disappointed. I’m convinced, as are all the people involved at linked sites, the needs for Twickenham Riverside were the driving force and if they weren’t we would question why the council would need linked sites in the first place.

“In all documentation it was always that these sites were a package, we never stood a chance. They are saying they were sold individually, in that case residents should have been part of the consultation before it became a fait acompli.

“There is nothing for the existing communities, they are not interested in us.”