SAVE SHERLAND ROAD : TREES, GREEN AREA & GARAGES
Petition to save the Sherland Road, Twickenham garages, trees and community planted green space from development. Background information: Without any consultation with residents, feasibility study or environmental survey, Richmond Upon Thames Council, the acclaimed Greenest London Borough, decided to sell off a valued lock up garage amenity in Sherland Road, Twickenham, including the only green space and street scene trees for development. Documentation submitted to Cabinet stated no information provided with regard to current usage of garages, loss of trees regrettable with limited ability to plant nearby, a controversial issue on this site, and small gardens for family houses. In addition, the Council devised a linked sites strategy to enable them to sell off garage sites as a job lot, to take the social rented housing away from prime sites, such as the Star & Garter and Twickenham Riverside, on which the River Centre is to be built. This strategy still has to undergo Examination in Public later this year. Residents appreciate the need for social rented and affordable housing, but this must surely be balanced with the needs of existing communities and it is unfair to make decisions which will grossly impact on existing communities and have an environmental impact on wildlife, without an open, fair and honest consultation. Despite there being a continued demand garages, Richmond Council slapped an embargo on new rentals well over a year ago, so Richmond Housing Partnership has lost valuable rental income and residents are being denied secure, off street parking. Those who currently rent, some of whom have rented for a great many years, are worried at the prospect of losing this secure, off street parking provision, in an area which is already overparked. Very little has ever been done in the way of maintenance by Richmond Housing Partnership (who managed the site) or the Council. Residents of Sherland Road organised the painting of the garage doors (as part of the Police Community Payback initiative) and ensure the area is kept free of litter, fly tipping and graffiti, thus we have saved the Council a huge amount of money in maintenance over the years. If the development in Sherland Road goes ahead, the community will lose an important amenity, plus the four and only mature street scene trees and six flowerbeds, one of which is a wildflower and wildlife garden with a small pond. The peaceful area is home to numerous species and attracts a wide variety of birds and biodiversity. Bats too have been observed in the area during the summer months. In addition to many different native wildflowers, there is a wide variety of planting of bulbs, shrubs and plants, which is entirely funded by the residents. The area continually evolves, which adds interest and there is so much more we would like to do to further enhance this space. The Council says it wants to encourage communities to improve their local environment and that it supports the creation of green spaces and environmental projects. The planted area in Sherland Road was created by the Community for the Community and we have won the following Awards to date: Highly Commended Young Environmentalist, Tom Hill (Sept 2007)Presented by Serge Lourie at The Green Guardian Awards Bronze Green Apple Award - Charity and Community category (Nov 2007)Presented by David Bellamy at the House of Commons on behalf of The Green Organisation Winner : Tom Hill, Young Gardener of the Year (Richmond in Bloom 2008) Silver : Community Building (Richmond in Bloom 2008) Silver : Serco Environmental Project (Richmond in Bloom 2008) Current Entry: Conservation Foundation 2008 Current application to the Conservation Community Fund for funding to further improve the area. This petition will be submitted to Richmond Council Planning Department. I / We object to the destruction of the Sherland Road garages, trees and planted green area.