Policy move sparks Twickenham doubt

The London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames has issued draft supplementary planning guidance that could affect plans for a revamp of Twickenham rail station.

Proposals to limit new buildings to five storeys in height in the area could conflict with Network Rail's £40 million project to build 170 flats above the station.

Council cabinet member for environment and planning Virginia Morris said: "We are not against developments or tall buildings, but this is Richmond-upon-Thames rather than Croydon-upon-Thames or the City-upon-Thames."

Network Rail and partner Solum Regeneration intend to fund the upgrade by sale of the proposed flats and other parts of the mixed-use scheme. Solum has already submitted plans to the council for a station podium.

A planning application for the main development is due for submission to the council later this year. It is hoped that the entire area will be revamped in time for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Solum spokesman Nigel Carr said: "The current station facility is badly positioned and has awkward access to the platforms. "It provides a very poor arrival point for Twickenham as a town and a major international sporting venue and makes no contribution to the town centre or its identity."

The borough has now put the supplementary guidance out for a six-week public consultation exercise.

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