Thursday, 1 December 2016

Bridging the divide

The Radnor Bridge proposal continues to gather momentum. Perhaps encouraged in part by the planned redevelopment of the Ham Close area.

This much needed housing improvement will see the number of homes in that area grow from the current 192 housing units to a planned 425, in part through the development of new modern and better equipped six story buildings. In association with Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP) this development will form part of Richmond Council’s Uplift programme, which seeks to regenerate the areas of Whitton, Hampton North, Barnes, Mortlake, Ham and Hampton Hill.

The planning committee has promised to adhere to five key principles;
  1. Any resident of Ham Close wishing to remain in the community will be able to do so. 
  2. Retain and enhance green space. 
  3. Create a heart to Ham Close and Ham, retain and support a village feel. 
  4. Better integrate Ham Close. 
  5. Improve community facilities. For instance by co-locating the youth centre, clinic and library. 
Traffic and Transport is bound to be an important consideration for the development. And therefore, should the redevelopment go ahead, the developers have promised to bring about improvements to cycle routes as part of their plans.

Obviously Radnor Bridge should be considered essential to delivering this plan.

After all, it will provide the necessary strategic solution to serve at least four of the uplift zones (Whitton, Hampton North, Ham and Hampton Hill), while connecting two halves of the borough currently separated by the river. And it will help deliver on #2 and #4 of the key principles above as well as contribute much to the village requirements outlined in #2.

There is an alternative idea, called The Quiet Way, which proposes using the Teddington Lock bridge. Nothing new there then!

Radnor Bridge is the ‘big idea’ the borough needs to underpin all its plans for the future. This is essentially because only Radnor Bridge will deliver the improved cycling infrastructure the borough is crying out. And at the same time it will gift a powerful legacy to future generations.

The increasing population size and need for improved access that comes with this means the Borough can no longer ignore the Radnor Bridge proposal. It is the key to bridging the 'divide' between where we are and where we need to be.

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