Richmond Council is pleased that today, after 20 months’ delay as a result of a legal challenge, the Supreme Court has dismissed the final legal manoeuvre to prevent the modernisation of Twickenham Station.
In December 2011, Richmond Council’s Planning Committee granted planning permission for a proposal by Solum to improve the station. This had been scaled down from a previous proposal which would have included over 160 additional homes and have been up to nine stories high. The development includes key improvements to the station, incorporating a new modern entrance and ticket hall, lifts to all platforms, improved public transport interchange facilities, a café, a riverside walk and a new public plaza with a development of flats above the scheme.
The Greater London Authority and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government can intervene in planning applications such as this, should they have particular concerns. However, after consideration of the decision and other representations, both announced that they would not be overriding Richmond’s Planning Committee decision.
Since the decision was made, a group of local residents (TRAG), has sought to challenge it and presented its case to the High Court at the end of last year. The Judge reviewed all the evidence presented and agreed with the Council that the process followed was correct and the decision properly made. TRAG appealed the decision and in May three Court of Appeal judges dismissed the appeal. TRAG still refused to accept the decision and applied to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal. On the 26 July three Supreme Court judges refused permission to take this any further and ordered TRAG to pay the Council's costs.
Lord True, Leader of Richmond Council, said:
“I respect the right of any neighbour to object to a development. But, the costly and consistently unsuccessful campaign by TRAG to stand in the way of plans to improve Twickenham Station, which is a complete eye sore and an embarrassment to this borough, has again conclusively failed.
“Their actions have wasted time and taxpayers’ money, which could have been far better spent on social workers and other frontline staff who make a real difference in Richmond.
“I welcome the Court’s decision today, although our lawyers were never in any doubt regarding this whole matter. The Council did not design or conceive the Solum scheme. However, it had a duty to consider it and did so properly in 2011.
“What the Council wanted then and now, and what most people in Twickenham wanted then and now, is a station fit for the 21st century.
“I hope we can finally put this matter to bed, because from start to finish this campaign has stood in the way of Twickenham’s best interests. Now I call upon Network Rail to get on with the job.”
Member since: 10th July 2012
I launched The Best of Richmond in 2005 and am passionate about supporting all things local. In particular, we work hard to showcase the best local businesses who give the borough its character and make...