Judicial review of station decision will achieve nothing, leader warns
A judicial review on approved plans for Twickenham station will achieve nothing and jeopardise the completion of the station development in time for the 2015 Rugby World Cup (RWC), the leader of Richmond Council said.
Twickenham Residents’ Action Group (Trag) has fought hard against Solum Regeneration’s plans for redevelopment work of the station, with their next step to overturn the council approved plans.
Thousands of residents have backed Trag and donated toward the £10,000 needed for a judicial review.
Trag members believe the council failed to take into account the evidence of a critical Twickenham Advisory Panel (Tap) report on the station developments and that not enough importance was attached to developers not committing to work being finished by the 2015 RWC.
However, Lord True said he was disappointed Trag was moving forward with the judicial review and that if it went ahead the station would not be ready for the World Cup.
He said: “In three years’ time when the 400,000 expected for the rugby world cup arrive we want them to be greeted at a station the borough can be proud of, in a town which is undergoing unprecedented investment. However, this won’t happen if the development is delayed.
“Judicial review is a costly and time consuming process. The council will have to spend taxpayers’ money to oppose this challenge. We are confident the courts will agree that there are no grounds. Should this be the case, we will seek to recoup all of our expenditure.
“Twickenham desperately needs a new station. Further delay will enrich lawyers but achieve nothing.”
A further reason Trag want the judicial review was to allow its plan B for the station to be considered by the council, although the council said it had never received a planning application.
John Watson, Trag spokesman, said: “Trag remains totally committed to a plan B solution for an attractive, viable, policy compliant new low-rise station and one that we can all be proud of in 50 years time. We continue to be open to engaging with any who have a similar interest and wish to support our ongoing efforts.
“We are entering the summer months, so it may take a while before the claim documents have been considered in full and we have a response from the High Court.”
To view the Tap report, visit trag-sos.moonfruit.com.