Plans to house the Gloriana at Orleans Riverside have been sent to the scrapheap, after two months of heated debate, consultation and protests.

Richmond Council announced on Friday, September 12, that it was dropping plans for the boathouse after an overwhelmingly negative response to the two-month consultation.

There are no plans to explore any other options in the borough and no planning application will be submitted by either the council or Gloriana trustees.

Lord Sterling, who bankrolled the Queen’s Royal Row Barge, will now turn his attentions elsewhere, with Kingston and Hounslow councils declaring an interest.

Friends of Orleans Riverside spokesman Paul Bigley said the group was delighted the council kept to its promise and listened to the feedback.

He said: “The park is beloved by local people and has been for generations – it is low-key, low-cost, and we love it that way. It is a council success just as it is.”

Fellow campaigner Mandie Adams McGuire said: “It would have been tragic if the proposals had gone forward to planning.

“The Arcadian view, protected by a 1902 Act of Parliament, will now remain safe for generations to come.”

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The council has confirmed the project cost £64,641 from start to finish, excluding council officers’ time which, if included, would see the total cost doubled.

The figure includes the feasibility study, that explored a number of sites and settled on Orleans Riverside, as well as various environmental surveys and the consultation.

Leader of the council Lord True said: “Many local people did support the idea of Gloriana coming to the borough but, sadly, in hosting such a unique and specialised craft, a number of technical issues arise, which limit the number of practical sites and require compromise.”

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Richmond, Councillor Stephen Knight, condemned the council for spending public money on the project.

He said: “It is a democratic outrage that Lord True has spent so much taxpayers’ money in secret on his pet project, without any formal backing of the council.”

The results of the consultation had been due to be reported back to the council’s cabinet at a meeting last night.

But, given the weight of opposition, the council moved early to pull the plug on the scheme.

In all, 3,025 people responded to the consultation questionnaire, with 77 per cent describing the proposed site at Orleans Riverside as “not appropriate”.

In addition, 65 per cent said they were “dissatisfied” with plans for a 30m long and 7m high boathouse.

When polled on the location of the proposals, one resident said: “Just take it elsewhere. There is no historical reason to bring this thing and cause so much disruption.”

However, another comment said: “I like the proposed boathouse design and I am fully in favour of upgrading the playground and cafe facilities.”

The survey also found most respondents had concerns about the effect on traffic and 64 per cent said it was important to maintain continuous access along the riverside walkway.

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Parents, dog walkers and visitors to Orleans Gardens expressed their delight as the news broke on Friday.

Angela Lee, 60, from Twickenham, said: “I am over the moon as I have been so worried about it – they can’t make it more beautiful than it already is.”

Sally Shinal, 47, from Whitton, said: “There is no need to put anything else here, it looks nice as it is.”

Friends of Orleans Riverside put forward an alternative proposal to house the Gloriana on the river, near Diamond Jubilee Gardens, in Twickenham.

Lord True said he would not be pursuing the proposal but invited the group to take their plans to Lord Sterling for consideration.

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“Sad to see it elsewhere” - Lord True speaks out

Two months after he announced proposals to bring the Gloriana to Twickenham, Richmond Council leader Lord True spoke of his sadness as the project lay dead in the water.

Q. What prompted the early decision not to proceed with the Gloriana plans?

A. The council thought it would be a nice idea. The Gloriana is one of the beautiful works of art created in this country. There were those who said it was a done deal from the start and they were wrong. It became clear from emerging results there would be a significant majority against this site so why not take an early decision?

Q. Could planning issues have been resolved if a planning application had been submitted?

A. In the cabinet report, there were those issues that needed to be addressed. I think a number of them certainly could have been dealt with – for example, some thought was being given to the size of the structure. But we never want to impose something on an unwilling public.

Q. Do you have any regrets about the way the council handled the proposal?

A. I wish it had come out later. My regret is that, having heard the news they [Gloriana trustees] were minded to go ahead with a planning application, I blurted that out at the mayor-making dinner because I thought it was good news. We should have waited to prepare the consultation, allowing us to present the facts. It wouldn’t have allowed people who invented untruths to get their stories out.

Q. Is it true you turned down the opportunity to attend a cross-party crisis meeting with local MPs and councillors about the Gloriana site?

A. This was an idea from the failed Liberal Democrat candidate Dr Susan Burningham. She sent me an email late in the day. I think it was a spoiling move, not a serious move. It was a matter for the Gloriana trustees and I certainly think we wanted to see the results of the consultation – why should I pre-empt the results?

Q. Are you sad about the way it turned out?

A. Of course I would be sad to see it go elsewhere when it was built by our own Mark Edwards. I’m sad in the sense that it is a pity we could not provide it with a home in the borough it was conceived. But I am not personally aggrieved that I put forward an idea that didn’t come to fruition.

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Councils in a Gloriana daze as search for new home begins

With Richmond spurning the Gloriana, Lord Sterling and the boat’s trustees are tasked with finding a new home for the royal row barge.

In the wake of Richmond Council’s announcement last week, Kingston Council leader Councillor Kevin Davis put the neighbouring borough forward as a potential home.

He said: “We’re not ready yet to announce where it might be, but there’s definitely a few sites along the riverfront which would be perfect.

“I’ve had a conversation with Lord Sterling and we’re in discussions about Kingston becoming the home for it.”

However, the most likely alternative would appear to be Brentford, where the barge was built in secret prior to the diamond jubilee in 2012.

Brentford Chamber of Commerce, backed by Hounslow Council, made no secret of its desire to take the Gloriana.

Lord Sterling has been invited to visit a prospective site in Brentford, while Brentford and Isleworth MP Mary Macleod will write to him to make the town’s case.

The Richmond and Twickenham Times contacted all riverside London councils to see if they were interested.

Among those who responded, Elmbridge said it had not been approached but would consider any proposal on its merits.

Barking and Dagenham, Southwark and Lambeth all said they had not been approached.

Greenwich said it would not be interested because of the tidal activity on that part of the river.