The Twickenham Riverside Inquiry heard the closing statements on Tuesday, June 27, from the Twickenham Riverside Trust (TRT) and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (LBRUT).
The inquiry has finished except for a walk around the site on Monday, July 3, and will receive no further evidence.
Ted Cremin spoke for the Trust in the morning and highlighted the TRT’s main reasons for objecting to the CPO for the Diamond Jubilee Gardens and the overall scheme designed by Hopkins Architects.
In his closing remarks, he highlighted the loss of trees and the reduced sunshine due to the Wharf Lane building. He also pointed out that 80 per cent of the value of trees was within the existing Jubilee Gardens. The main point is that the TRT feel that the new space offered in the Hopkins scheme differs from what they have now. Footage potentially in breach of GDPR was shared privately during the inquiry, and Mr Cremin claimed that it showed how popular the gardens have been.
The TRT closing remarks failed to explain why they had changed their position from support for the scheme to opposition. He went so far as to claim they supported the previously discredited scheme (2017), which had not achieved planning consent.
Mr Cremin claimed “The authority is getting it done at the expense of getting it right.”
Closing on behalf of LBRUT, Andrew Tait KC, made many points about the positive nature of the Hopkins proposal. It had been achieved following extensive consultation and had much support in the borough. The development would strengthen the townscape and preserve heritage assets. The space offered to the TRT was more extensive and of good quality.
If given the go-ahead, the scheme will provide the improvements that the borough seeks and, if not approved, would lead to many years of further delay on top of the 40 years of dereliction that have passed already.
The inquiry will consider all the representations, including the complex S19 legal arguments and report to ministers, which may be as late as Christmas this year.
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