Twickenham Riverside is to be transformed into an open space, complete with a town square, scent garden and band stand, it has been decided.

Plans by the Twickenham Riverside Terrace Group (TRTG) to open up the derelict site were approved by councillors at a Richmond Council planning meeting last Thursday.

Ron Chappell, who piloted the scheme, said: “This achievement is no mean feat. The officials took 22 months to evaluate our scheme, and now Twickenham and its council has the opportunity to do something positive with the pool site.”

The group hopes to clear and landscape the site to create a town square where markets, an annual winter ice rink and even screens to show special events such as the Olympics and Rugby World Cup in 2015 can be held.

It is also hoped a basketball court can be built to make sure youngsters feel part of the scheme.

TRTG chairman John Reekie said: “All along we have concentrated on what the community says it wants.

“That is gardens, open space and public square, and using refurbished buildings for the community.

“We are not a part of any political party, but nothing will get done unless the community works together to put forward a properly thought-out plan.”

It is estimated the scheme will cost about £800,000 and the group is hoping to secure the money through grants. Members hope the development will become “sustainable” once complete.

The charity is calling on a coalition between the Conservative-led council and the Liberal Democrat opposition, who disagreed over previous plans to hand part of the land over for private housing.

Leader of Richmond Council, Lord True, said he welcomed the suggestions put forward in TRTG’s application but added the council, which owns the land, had its own ideas for the site.

He said: “Officers are now drawing up ideas for a public consultation for what may go on the riverside.

“Each idea will contribute in getting to the final solution. They [TRTG] have the right to have their ideas considered and I particularly think they have earned that right.

“But, I don’t think the final scheme will necessarily be this precise scheme.”

He revealed the council would be revealing its ideas for the riverside in the spring.

He added he would “love” for the Lib Dems to show their support for any council-led development on the site.