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Rolfe Judd’s controversial Twickenham station scheme approved

Rolfe Judd’s contentious £40 million revamp of Twickenham Station in London has been given the green light by Richmond Borough Council

The proposal for client Solum Regeneration, which features a new public plaza and 115 apartments above a revamped station, came in for criticism from some local residents for being too big and ‘exceeding height guidelines’.

Earlier this month the Twickenham Residents Action Group, even published their own ‘viable alternative’ to the Rolfe Judd scheme - a, smaller Art Deco-style design drawn up by Landmark Architecture.

However councillors at the meeting on Monday voted narrowly in favour of the Solum-backed plans which include a ‘significantly larger’ ticket office, new lifts, stairs and new toilets for the 1954 station in West London.

Charles Graham, Director for Rolfe Judd, said: ‘This scheme will finally provide Twickenham with a new station, appropriate for the town, and the many international events that take place at the stadium. It will also provide much needed housing, in a highly sustainable location, directly above the transport interchange. We look forward to progressing the project through 2012.’

Construction could start next year

Previous story (AJ 08.12.11)

Art Deco rival to Rolfe Judd’s Twickenham scheme revealed

[First look] Landmark Architecture has unveiled an Art Deco-style rival to Rolfe Judd’s contentious £40 million revamp of Twickenham Station in London

Featuring a double-height entrance hall and rugby ball-shaped public square, the project is part of a bid by Twickenham Residents Action Group to present a ‘viable alternative’ to planned redevelopment.

Landmark Architecture director Richard Mellor said: ‘It would be possible for Network Rail to take this scheme on – even with their own architect – because it meets with the public requirements and meets with planning requirements and is viable.’

The pro-bono scheme features 32 apartments and 1,000m² of retail space. The design includes a rugby ball-shaped public square and overflow ramp for use on match days. The scheme is half the size of Rolfe Judd’s but retains the same level of viability, according to the architect.

An original 1930s station design for Twickenham was abandoned and never built. The existing station building opened in 1954. Mellor said: ‘We want to realise the spirit [of the original design] in order to create a station that has a sense of civic pride but also caters for the huge influx of match day visitors.’

Twickenham_Station_Entrance_View

Rolfe Judd’s mixed-use proposal for client Solum Regeneration features 115 apartments and a new public plaza and is planned to complete in time for the 2015 rugby World Cup.

A Rolfe Judd spokesperson said: ‘The Rolfe Judd scheme for Solum Regeneration will revitalise an unattractive part of Twickenham and provide a welcoming new gateway to the town centre.

‘Over 700 Twickenham residents have registered their support for this scheme, and unlike the alternative drawn up by TRAG, it is fully funded and deliverable.’

Rolfe Judd’s scheme is expected to go to planning committee next week on 14 December.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Twickenham gets the architecture it deserves. Whatever is proposed for the town - and it is usually mediochre - there is never a call for better design within the parameters (and profitability) that a developer aspires to only the inevitable shrieking about overdevelopment. This misses the point that a town with a world class reputation for sport deserves a world class design. The result is the indifferent proposal that has received planning consent. Architectural quality has no place in Richmond Council's thinking for the future of Twickenham.

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  • Peter,
    I urge you to also direct your comments to the Leader of Council and the Council's planning officers who submitted on 19 December at the planning committee that the proposed building passed the quality test of the adopted policy DM DC3 and was supported by 700 people. The views of 5500 people who objected to Solum's mediochre proposal appears to have failed to capture the attention of the case officer and his colleagues. It transpires that the 700 people who supported the scheme, actually translates to less than 20 people who supported the high-rise development. The other support expressed related to the principle of station improvements which Rolfe Judd admitted at the planning meeting were only minimal in terms of meeting Network Rail's Guide to Station Planning & Design published in July 2011. So the Conservative members of the committee approved this low quality, high-rise, high-density development on the strength of 20 letters of support and ignored their recently adopted policy DM DC3 which required "substantial public support" to override the restricted height of development on the site to 4-5 storeys. So much for the Localism Bill and local residents being allowed to shape their environment.

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