We know that local house prices and rent levels make it difficult for many people to afford to live in the borough. Providing affordable housing is a key consideration in granting planning permission and an area of particular focus.
Several schemes are on the horizon, with expectations overall of a healthy future pipeline of at least 1000 affordable homes. Some 15 schemes with affordable housing already have planning permission. These range from small landholdings in Ham and Petersham to the large development at the Richmond Education and Enterprise Campus in Twickenham. A few dozen more
schemes with definite affordable opportunities are currently on the cards.
As a result we should see far more affordable homes starting on site this year and next with the number of completions really taking off by 2022.
Twickenham Town Centre
While High Streets round the country found 2019 difficult, with a number of businesses closing, our borough has faired rather better and, though there are gaps on our high streets, we are still below the national average for empty shops (c10%). However, we know that we need to continue to support Twickenham Town Centre
- The development of Twickenham Riverside provides an incredible opportunity for us to open up the river and create a heart for Twickenham centre. Plans are progressing well, with Hopkins architects named as the preferred bidder to drive the project forward. We will continue to consult with residents and businesses are key stages in the process, with the objective of getting planning approval before the end of the year, a truly transformational opportunity for Twickenham!
- Having held a successful Christmas event, the new BID (Business Improvement District), led by local businesses and traders on the High Street and Church Road is gearing up for the next year and planning markets and events to make it a great place to visit.
- We are working with the RFU to minimise event effects. A new Community fund has been set up specifically using funds from the Army and Navy fixture to help local causes. Awards are about to be made.
- The leader of the council and the Environment Director have written to Solum expressing our concern at the continued delays in the opening of Twickenham station and we hope to get final confirmation as to when the new station will be open, but expect it to be very soon – possibly by the time you read this article! It will include an M&S and Sainsbury’s.
Photography: From Hopkins Proposals
Katie Mansfield, Councillor, South Twickenham Ward, Cllr.K.Mansfield@richmond.gov.uk