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Jestico + Whiles slams anti-development campaigners

Jestico + Whiles has hit back at critics of a controversial development on one of the Thames' few islands, calling objections 'completely fabricated'.

Plans to regenerate Platt's Eyot, a tiny island between West Moseley and Hampton waterworks, have endured a barrage of opposition from angry locals.

The architect's latest plans include 84 new homes, comprising a mix of flats, maisonettes and family homes. There are also plans for a car park, marine-related industry and a bridge.

Proposals submitted in 2002 for a largely industrial development were rejected by Richmond Council. A revised masterplan of mainly residential properties combined with sensitive restoration of historic boatyards is awaiting a decision.

A local action group, Campaigners Against the Proposed Development of Platt's Eyot (CAPDPE), claims the developer, Terrace Hill Group, is keeping the latest designs tightly under wraps.

The group has now released images indicating what it believes is the scale of Jestico + Whiles' proposal. But lead architect Tony Ling told the AJ they were 'cartoon cut-and-paste drawings' without 'scientific approach'.

He said: 'This is a completely fabricated attempt to distort the design. Their crude development has shown flats twice as high as they will be and eradicated envisioned lines of trees.

'Planners will not be fooled by this. They are not receptive to blatantly manipulative images. However, it may build residents' concerns and this may influence the council,' said Ling.

Platt's Eyot - roughly 500m in length - was once home to a bustling boat industry but in recent years has fallen into decline. English Heritage has awarded Platt's Eyot boatyard Grade II listing and believes it could be rescued by redevelopment.

CAPDPE campaigner Liz Robertson said: 'Our scaled visuals show the overbearing size of the detached houses- Terrace Hill Group has refused to show people on either bank of the river what houses on the high plateau will look like.'

Jestico + Whiles insisted the plans were available for public scrutiny at Richmond Town Hall and on its website, www.jesticowhiles.co.uk.

by Clive Walker

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