Anger spills over about Gloriana boathouse

Gloriana: Beautiful, but needs a home

Gloriana: Beautiful, but needs a home

First published in News
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This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Proposals for the Queen's Royal Row Barge, the Gloriana, to be given a permanent home in Twickenham have been met with anger from residents.

Richmond Council has been working with Lord Sterling, who commissioned the barge to mark the Diamond Jubilee, to identify a site, settling on the historic boat house at Orleans Park.

But the decision, which must still go through normal planning channels, has been criticised by numerous people.

Gill Clay-Jones, of Cresswell Road, Twickenham, said: "This project should have been subject to public discussion at the concept stage.

"It should have been a topic in the local elections.

"Yet it has been kept secret from those it will most directly affect until now, just before the planning stage which will take place in August while many people are away."

The Gloriana is used to promote better use of the Thames among young people and charitable and ceremonial events on the water.

Lord True, leader of the council, said: "This is a once-off opportunity - other boroughs were keen to secure the privilege of hosting Gloriana.

"But as the only borough straddling the Thames, with centuries old royal connections I believe Richmond is uniquely equipped to be the home of this remarkable piece of British craftsmanship, designed and built by our residents.

"The proposal is, of course, subject to funding and planning permission."

International architects Foster and Partners have designed a potential modern boat house, visitors' centre, enhanced new cafe and play area.

Work could begin in autumn 2015.

Community groups and residents have also questioned the feasibility of the project.

An action group against the proposals has been formed with the first meeting set to take place on Thursday, July 3, at 6.30pm at Winchester Hall at the Turk's Head.

The group, organised by residents Mandie Adams McGuire and Sandra Hazlewood, claim trees and natural wildlife would be affected and is unsuitable for more traffic.

Councillor Pamela Fleming, cabinet member for environment, said there had been "a lot of misinformation which has caused a lot of concerns".

She added: "It is not a done deal - there are concerns over the removal of the playground but it will be rebuilt.

"It will not be a visitor or tourist centre and it is very important we hear what people have to say in the consultation period."

The barge was built in 2012 by Richmond-based master boat builder Mark Edwards MBE and was the lead craft at the Diamond Jubilee Pageant when Sir Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent took lead roles.

Lord Sterling said: "All generations, foreign cultural visitors and perhaps most important our children will have opportunity in the generations to come of enjoying the wonderful timeless history of this area, a gem in these islands."

The council's consultation will be available on its website from July 1 and will run until July 29.

People can also have their say at drop-in sessions, held at Orleans House Gallery on July 18 (between 10am to 4pm) in the Octagon Room and July 19 and 20, at the same times, in the Stables.

Comments (12)

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3:04pm Mon 30 Jun 14

martnal says...

It would be a privilege and honour to have Gloriana berthed here, and would surely set us well on the way to becoming a Royal Borough. The target part of the Thames is quite shabby compared to a few hundred yards either side, and would benefit from brightening up in such an illustrious manner. Bring it here.
It would be a privilege and honour to have Gloriana berthed here, and would surely set us well on the way to becoming a Royal Borough. The target part of the Thames is quite shabby compared to a few hundred yards either side, and would benefit from brightening up in such an illustrious manner. Bring it here. martnal
  • Score: 1

9:57pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Ms H Jackson says...

It is clear some local residents are opposed to this and are making a lot of waves to drum up support for their opposition but their campaign has only just started and it is difficult to say how much support they have. I am a local resident and I have yet to see the details of the proposals for berthing Gloriana but in principle I agree with martnal and would also support it.
It is clear some local residents are opposed to this and are making a lot of waves to drum up support for their opposition but their campaign has only just started and it is difficult to say how much support they have. I am a local resident and I have yet to see the details of the proposals for berthing Gloriana but in principle I agree with martnal and would also support it. Ms H Jackson
  • Score: 8

11:34pm Mon 30 Jun 14

ReubenF says...

Extraordinary. This is a project which will only enhance Twickenham. It is unlikely to impact residential properties and it will go hand-in hand with the general upgrading of Twickenham Riverside. It is difficult to understand what the substantive objectives are. I cannot believe that there will be a groundswell of opinion against moving a playground a few yards. Let's not oppose what is an honour for our great town.
Extraordinary. This is a project which will only enhance Twickenham. It is unlikely to impact residential properties and it will go hand-in hand with the general upgrading of Twickenham Riverside. It is difficult to understand what the substantive objectives are. I cannot believe that there will be a groundswell of opinion against moving a playground a few yards. Let's not oppose what is an honour for our great town. ReubenF
  • Score: 3

8:31am Tue 1 Jul 14

Saltyann says...

As a regular user of the playground café & forest I can't see any benefit to this plan at all. It's such a beautiful undeveloped area & that's precisely why people love it so much. I'm not actually a local resident but I often travel to this Park as it's so special. I think it should be left as is,I'm sure they can find a more appropriate place for it that doesn't involve destroying ancient trees & woodland. I have to agree that the planning seems to have been done with cynicism too, they must've known the locals would be against it. Trying to hide it & sneak it past people whilst they're on their summer holidays... Tut tut!
As a regular user of the playground café & forest I can't see any benefit to this plan at all. It's such a beautiful undeveloped area & that's precisely why people love it so much. I'm not actually a local resident but I often travel to this Park as it's so special. I think it should be left as is,I'm sure they can find a more appropriate place for it that doesn't involve destroying ancient trees & woodland. I have to agree that the planning seems to have been done with cynicism too, they must've known the locals would be against it. Trying to hide it & sneak it past people whilst they're on their summer holidays... Tut tut! Saltyann
  • Score: -2

6:13pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Concerned_Resident says...

The people of Twickenham have to have something to moan about. It's part of the law when you live here.

The pool site, the train station, the stadium, the town centre works, the post office site are all recent examples.
The people of Twickenham have to have something to moan about. It's part of the law when you live here. The pool site, the train station, the stadium, the town centre works, the post office site are all recent examples. Concerned_Resident
  • Score: 9

7:24pm Tue 1 Jul 14

jeremyhm says...

A statement has been made on Twickerati (by Christopher Squire) containing these words: "Vince Cable has declared himself opposed, having been firmly told by his staff that that was the line to take".
This suggests he didn't make up his own mind. Par for the course, from an MP who told us during the Riverside campaign that he didn't intervene in local matters.
Note also that this statement was made before the latest information on the scheme was released.
A statement has been made on Twickerati (by Christopher Squire) containing these words: "Vince Cable has declared himself opposed, having been firmly told by his staff that that was the line to take". This suggests he didn't make up his own mind. Par for the course, from an MP who told us during the Riverside campaign that he didn't intervene in local matters. Note also that this statement was made before the latest information on the scheme was released. jeremyhm
  • Score: 4

8:12pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Twickenham Bob says...

Another pompous scheme from a very pompous man.

Twickenham does not need to be on the receiving end of yet another pet project of his.
Another pompous scheme from a very pompous man. Twickenham does not need to be on the receiving end of yet another pet project of his. Twickenham Bob
  • Score: 0

7:59am Wed 2 Jul 14

dellboy twick. says...

more information is needed, proper costing, who pays for what, what other sites have been looked at.
Orleans park is a non starter,access is severely limited.It would be better placed outside Hampton Court Palace tying it in with their visitors.
What we don't need is another high maintenance cost item added to our council tax; this council is forever stating it is one of the lowest funded boroughs in greater london yet happy to spend our money on projects we don't really need, except for honour,esteem and glory.
more information is needed, proper costing, who pays for what, what other sites have been looked at. Orleans park is a non starter,access is severely limited.It would be better placed outside Hampton Court Palace tying it in with their visitors. What we don't need is another high maintenance cost item added to our council tax; this council is forever stating it is one of the lowest funded boroughs in greater london yet happy to spend our money on projects we don't really need, except for honour,esteem and glory. dellboy twick.
  • Score: -2

10:00am Wed 2 Jul 14

ChrisSquire says...

The money for this folly is far from being in place:

' . . Who would pay for the construction of the
boat house?

The project is subject to funding being identified. On 9th July
Richmond Council’s Cabinet will be discussing the extent to
which the Council could contribute a third of the capital cost, up
to a cap of £1 million. We anticipate that the funding would be a
mixture of grants e.g. HLF, private fundraising,
donations as well as the Council funding. The scale of running
costs are yet to be determined but the Council envisages that
these will predominantly met from other sources, including private
donations and sponsorships . . '

£1 million for a boat house but no public library for Heathfield and £0mn. for social housing at Brewery Wharf . .
The money for this folly is far from being in place: ' . . Who would pay for the construction of the boat house? The project is subject to funding being identified. On 9th July Richmond Council’s Cabinet will be discussing the extent to which the Council could contribute a third of the capital cost, up to a cap of £1 million. We anticipate that the funding would be a mixture of grants e.g. HLF, private fundraising, donations as well as the Council funding. The scale of running costs are yet to be determined but the Council envisages that these will predominantly met from other sources, including private donations and sponsorships . . ' £1 million for a boat house but no public library for Heathfield and £0mn. for social housing at Brewery Wharf . . ChrisSquire
  • Score: 3

8:01pm Thu 3 Jul 14

ChrisSquire says...

The indignation meeting at the Winchester hall tonight was packed to overflowing when I turned up so I contented myself with signing their petition and left.

This scheme is dead in the water, I think, but it may be some time before those stupid enough to think it a good idea in the first place realise and give up.
The indignation meeting at the Winchester hall tonight was packed to overflowing when I turned up so I contented myself with signing their petition and left. This scheme is dead in the water, I think, but it may be some time before those stupid enough to think it a good idea in the first place realise and give up. ChrisSquire
  • Score: -5

11:33pm Thu 3 Jul 14

jeremyhm says...

What a pity you didn't stay Mr Squire. You would have experienced an evening of unparalleled rudeness on the part of the audience, who heckled and interrupted anyone who dared to try to tell them something they didn't like (eg some facts). Especially interesting when many of the audience hadn't even bothered to read the literature made available by the Council. I had thought citizens of this Borough were a more polite lot. One of the ring-leaders, to my knowledge, lives outside the Borough
What a pity you didn't stay Mr Squire. You would have experienced an evening of unparalleled rudeness on the part of the audience, who heckled and interrupted anyone who dared to try to tell them something they didn't like (eg some facts). Especially interesting when many of the audience hadn't even bothered to read the literature made available by the Council. I had thought citizens of this Borough were a more polite lot. One of the ring-leaders, to my knowledge, lives outside the Borough jeremyhm
  • Score: -6

11:21pm Tue 15 Jul 14

Guy Morgan-Harris says...

Will a new road be built to provide access? Orleans Road is already too narrow to provide suitable access to the existing playground, Orleans House Octagon Room and Stables. The pavement is not wide enough to support safe pedestrian access with cars parked up to the walls of houses. This cannot be considered viable without access. They can't address this without addressing access first and clearly they must have thought of something. However, that this 'something' has not been brought to light does indicate that it must so contentious as to be left until a later date. Not worth considering any of this without first addressing access. Beyond that I am not sure if this is a good idea at all.
Will a new road be built to provide access? Orleans Road is already too narrow to provide suitable access to the existing playground, Orleans House Octagon Room and Stables. The pavement is not wide enough to support safe pedestrian access with cars parked up to the walls of houses. This cannot be considered viable without access. They can't address this without addressing access first and clearly they must have thought of something. However, that this 'something' has not been brought to light does indicate that it must so contentious as to be left until a later date. Not worth considering any of this without first addressing access. Beyond that I am not sure if this is a good idea at all. Guy Morgan-Harris
  • Score: 3

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