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Royal Star and Garter developer unveils early plans
Proposals for the future of the Royal Star and Garter home have been shown for the first time, with one of Richmond’s most prestigious developments in the offing.
Wounded ex-servicemen and women have been relocated to Surbiton and now London Square is looking to turn its £50m investment into 90 one to six-bedroom flats, some costing millions.
Plans for the Grade II listed building will be under close scrutiny from heritage experts and conservationists from nearby Petersham Common.
Councillor David Williams, who is a Petersham Common Conservator, said whatever the outcome the interests of the people of Richmond would be protected.
He said: “We are there to preserve and enhance the common and therefore we won’t be able to accept, and nor will the council, any significant alterations of the common which they might want, but is not going to happen.”
The proposals, which include underground parking for 110 cars that would require the removal and replacement of the home’s terrace garden, were shown to people for the first time late last week.
London Square also wants to see improvements to Petersham Common, which surrounds the building and is protected by law.
The proposal looks to “open views from the Thames and Petersham meadows towards the Royal Star and Garter Home, and views out from the building down towards the Thames”.
Petersham Common Conservators secretary Gerry Davis, who has worked the land for 40 years, said: “Our job is to protect the common, but we are not going to be unreasonable.
“It is a lovely building and it has got to be preserved.
“We are not prepared to change ownership of any part of the common and even if we wanted to it would be very difficult because it is protected by law.”
Architect Calvin Bruce, of Paul Davis and Partners, who is working on the project, said: “Residents will contribute to Petersham Common Conservators as part of their service charge.
“The long term views are to improve the views of the river.”
He said: “Petersham Common is not particularly well managed at the moment.
“We are working up proposals, which we will present to them.”
Development director of London Square Mark Smith said the common surrounding the Star and Garter should have a woodland management plan.
Mr Davis said: “Petersham Common is a woodland and has been for hundreds of years.
“Our guidance is to preserve it how it’s always been and that is what we intend to do.
“It is a site of natural historic interest – it is a nature reserve in effect.”
Plans also include a fitness suite in the current King’s Room and a library and social space in the Queen’s Room.
The plans are due to be submitted to Richmond Council in the coming months.
Estate agents estimated a good sized one bedroom apartment, about 700sq ft, could cost about £750,000, while the larger four, five and six bedroom apartments could cost up to £3m.
Director of Parkgate Estate Agents in Richmond Marc Roberts said: “The ceiling height and size of windows in some of these apartments will certainly have the wow factor.
“I would expect to see and I am sure the developers will be wanting to see big money for these properties.
“What we have here is a unique piece of history in the fringe of Europe’s largest Royal Park and walking distance to station and our lovely town centre.
“I’m looking forward to seeing it.”
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