A piece of Twickenham Riverside locked away for 20 years has been opened up as part of the new Conservative council’s promise to give the land back to the people.

The stretch of land, in front of former bath house buildings on the site, has been cleared and opened up less than a month after the previous administration’s plans to build luxury homes on the site were scrapped.

Having been locked up since 1980, the land on the corner of Water Lane was cleared and weeded and opened up as a sun terrace this week.

Richmond Council leader Nicholas True, leader of Richmond Council, said: “I promised back in May that we would boot the developers off the people’s riverside and immediately take steps to give it back to local residents.

“Very soon we will begin involving local residents in deciding the future for the whole site.

“But in the meantime, I’m delighted to say this will now be one more small piece of our beautiful riverside that local people can now enjoy.

“The new seats overlooking the river and the flower garden provide a pleasant summer setting.”

Improvements to the site have included the trimming down of the hedge and the installation of benches so visitors can enjoy a view of the river and Eel Pie Island.

The paving has been cleaned and weeded and new shrubs have been planted to mask the building at the back of the plot.

Eel Pie resident and inventor Trevor Baylis, who was at the opening of the land on Monday, said: “It’s great - it’s a good start.”

He was joined by riverside campaigners who had fought against the former Liberal Democrats decision to build 32 homes and a river centre on the former Twickenham pool site.

The decision to clear the land was one of four rulings made on the future of Twickenham Riverside at a cabinet meeting last month, which included the decision to give formal notice to proposed developers Countryside Properties that the controversial housing project had been scrapped.

However, the decisions have been called in by Lib Dem councillors Arnie Gibbons and David Williams, who raised a number of issues including the financial cost of any new scheme.

They will be discussed at a special meeting of the finance and performance overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday.