Teddington Society AGM Reports 2015

I have been asked to keep this short as there is a shortage of column inches. The TEG had another busy, and
successful year. Not long enough? Oh well, here goes:
The Group carried out the usual round of litterpicks and re-cycling site clean ups and, in addition, assisted
the local Girl Guide pack with their Riverside litterpick in the summer and also the Friends of Bushy and
Home Parks with their first ever litterpick in late April. The latter turned out to be a poignant occasion as it
was the last litterpick attended by one of our most stalwart litterpickers, and TEG Committee member,
Carolan Shaw, who sadly died suddenly, and unexpectedly, a short time after.
I gave a short talk to the local Brownie pack in the Spring on the work that the TEG undertakes and they
had great fun collecting up the (clean) litter I had taken along with our equipment.
The Group was successful with its bid to the Greater London Authority “Capital Clean Up” scheme for
litterpicking equipment and my garage is now bursting at the seams with excellent new litterpickers,
industrial gloves, orange tabards, handi -hoops etc etc. Only one other West London group was also
successful, all the others being in East or South London. When I, and two group members, went to City
Hall in the late Autumn for a Capital Clean Up reception I was too polite to ask why this was so but I have
my own thoughts on that.
Most of this is probably going to end up on the equivalent of the cutting room floor but I need to mention
one important action taken. The flight path trials from Heathrow in the late summer, which resulted in
aircraft taking off directly over Teddington in a more sustained fashion than usual for hours on end caused
a great deal of angst and upset to some members of the local community. A public meeting on the matter
was held after the trials had ended in the Baptist Church which I and three other EC members attended. As
a result of the trials, and the meeting, I subsequently wrote, via Email, to the Airports Commission (who
are looking at the requirement for further runway capacity in the SE of England which boils down to
Heathrow or Gatwick) informing them of the effect the Heathrow flight trials had had on Teddington and
asked them to ensure that all environmental factors are taken into account in their deliberations.
We have had a quieter year than 2014. Sadly, in the course of the year, we lost two members, Pam Jarvis and
Norman Simmons who will both be badly missed. Activities are detailed below:
We have looked at raising an information board for West Teddington but have shelved the idea in favour of
a board at Teddington Station. We will soon be raising a plaque for the Bronze Age Barrow in Sandy Lane.
Our main activity has been to proceed with the Valerie Sullivan Archive and provide an update of the
names of the WW1 dead to the War Memorial. This work is moving forward and we have now increased
the number of names from the 337 on the memorial to 495.
In conjunction with the Planning Group, we updated the Teddington records of Buildings of Townscape
Merit and are proud of our joint efforts in this respect.
Several talks have been arranged to various organisations; The Teddington War Memorial (twice), A
History of the Film Studios, Saxon Teddington and Westminster Abbey and 200 Years of Teddington Lock.
Another talk on Teddington Pubs will take place at Teddington Library on 8th September next.
We have reprinted Teddington As It Was and this is on sale at Waterstones, W H Smiths and from the
Society, price £7.99.
Our summer walk took in the old nursery lands of West Teddington although there is nothing in evidence
there today.
We entered a team for the Richmond Borough Local History Quiz and against the formidable opposition of
Bamber Gascoigne et al, we came a respectable 6th.
Throughout the year we have dealt with about 30 enquiries ranging from a German lady seeking to find out
where her grandparents lived, various war memorials, the stables, the canoe club, various title deeds,
schools and children’s homes.
We are currently looking to recruit some new members.
PLANNING GROUP – Jeremy Sandle
We have 11 members. We lost 4 members over the year in particular Michael Foss, our long term Convenor to
whom the Society owes a great deal of gratitude for many years’ service to the Society.
We met 7 times over the year. Our primary task was to monitor all significant planning applications relating to
Teddington. We vetted 207 applications, these included minor proposals such as alterations to the rear of
properties. Most of these (93%) were granted permission. Permitted Development Applications not open to scrutiny
numbered 165. We considered 96 applications in detail, and registered objections in 7 cases. A not inconsiderable
Among the many schemes and applications with which we have been concerned were:
 Sainsbury’s ‘convenience’ store in the High Street. We lobbied the Council to appeal against the approval won
by Sainsbury on appeal. They refused to appeal the decision. We supported the efforts of local residents in
their private action in the High Court but sadly they lost.
 Teddington & Ham Hydro. A majority of the group supported this application in principle albeit with
reservations on noise, design, environmental and organisational grounds. The Society decided to object on
these grounds.
 Thames Riverside (ex-Teddington Studios). Our representations on the original design were taken into account
by Haymarket and we subsequently supported the application on the basis that the employment use would be
retained in the Borough. The Council say they have imposed huge penalties if the employment is lost.
 Normansfield boathouse (‘Velma boathouse’). The finest of the Victorian boathouses on our stretch of the
river which was at risk because of a proposed development. We lobbied for this to be Listed and it has been
thereby protecting it.
 Udney Park Playing Fields. We have lobbied Imperial College to respect the covenant it inherited with these
playing fields that they are to be used for sports. Imperial College claim they are charged under the Charities
Act to obtain best value from their land so they have openly marketed the playing field for a variety of uses.
We continue to lobby and support the Friends of Udney Park Playing Fields.
 The Causeway. Our initiative to bring life to this street with a Sunday Farmers Market was taken up by
Councillors and the Council, but we are advised that the Council cannot agree terms with a Farmers Market
 Buildings of Townscape Merit. Our representations to the Council about their list have been taken into
account. There is now a link to the Society list from the Council website.
Conservation Areas. We have established that the law only requires 'neutrality' to see the CA preserved so a
development does not have to enhance the area.
We organised a group meeting with Richmond Planners to ensure that our comments on various matters are fully
taken into account. It was successful.
As ever, we are very keen to receive feedback on our activities; which are reported in each issue of Tidings. If
anyone is interested in joining the Planning Group we would like to hear from them.
TREES & GARDENS - Sheena Harold
Teddington in Flower: Sunday June 8th 10 gardeners (and St. Mary’s Parish Church) opened their back gardens
for charity. Deputy Mayor Stephen Speak visited several with his wife Anne. Sian Morgan and Caroline Sayer did
most of the organising and £500 went to planting a flower meadow at Strawberry Hill House while the other £500
will go to planting the wooded triangle opposite the Hospital. There we’re being helped by Jennifer Sarginson,
Gardener in Charge at Strawberry Hill, and the Council’s Parks Department.
Richmond in Bloom: I represent Teddington on the Committee. The King’s Head and The Adelaide won awards
in the Pubs category. The Borough continued to do well in London in Bloom winning golds. Shacklegate Lane
Cemetary won a silver gilt award.
Elmfield and Jubilee Gardens: We’ve worked with the Council over the years and both gardens are looking good.
Throughout the year we have continued our core activity of weekly litter–picking at the Drawdock. There is a
consensus amongst our stalwart band of pickers that for reasons unknown there tends to be less litter than
formerly. Other matters to report are as follows:
Important developments in our area include the enactment, after four years of waiting, of a Council byelaw making it a criminal offence to moor boats on Council-owned or managed land without permission.
The law came into effect on March 13th 2015 and will end the blight of illegally moored hulks and other
boats along the Ham bank. Every extra 24 hours of illegal mooring means that a new offence has been
Bushy Park has been granted SSSI status (Site of Special Scientific Interest) – a final nail in the coffin of
our local Royal Park’s Cinderella role evident a decade ago.
In September Teddington and Ham Hydro submitted a new planning application to the Council for a
scheme to generate enough electricity from reverse Archimedes screws on a small section of Teddington
Weir to meet the needs of the equivalent of 600 average size dwellings. The Council’s decision is awaited.
A tiny “group” of two (Ann Sayer, Leader of the Riverside and Open Spaces Group and David Lawton,
former leader of the Environment Group) acted as liaison persons between the Society and Teddington and
Ham Hydro until the application was submitted. The plans have generated a huge amount of interest in the
community, both for and against. Ann Sayer was a party to the Teddington Society Planning Group’s
decision last November to support the hydro scheme, but with certain clearly stated provisos.
In Broom Road Recreation Ground the Council’s Olympic legacy Beach Volleyball scheme has been
implemented. It is hoped that the courts have been well maintained throughout the winter.
Routine matters affecting paths, trees, gates etc. have been dealt with. Other significant events have
included the listing of the beautiful Velma Boathouse, built by Dr John Langdon Down. Manor Road
Recreation Ground was chosen by the Council to be one of six locations where poppies were sown to
commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the start of World War I. The refurbishment of Elmfield
Gardens and Jubilee Gardens was completed.
In 1999 Ann Sayer agreed to become leader of the Riverside and Open Spaces Group for a maximum of two years.
In 2015 she is finally giving up and can’t quite work out what happened. Ann heartily thanks all Group members
over the years and asks you to welcome the new Convenor, Andy Weston. And, if you have an interest in the river
and in Teddington’s open spaces, please join our group. We need new members
1. Roads & Transport Group – modernised working practices
The Council no longer has formal planning meetings for transport issues other than for cycling – and with the
proposed amalgamation of services with Wandsworth, the need for more rapid consideration of any transport plans
or parking proposals has become essential. As a consequence, the original R&T group meetings to decide
Teddington Society responses to various Council transport initiatives have for some time, been replaced by a
computerised two stage Consultation/Information system. I have an email circulation list of over 300 local
residents who have expressed an interest in being informed, and where appropriate, consulted about local transport
issues (most, but not all are Society members). Responses from this larger group are analysed and circulated to a
smaller group of experienced Society members with a range of appropriate skills (new members always welcome).
There has been very little activity in the last twelve months mainly due to council reorganisations.
2. More free turnover and ordinary parking spaces urgently needed – not more CPZs which are very bad
news for our shopping centres as no new parking for shoppers is being provided
According to an article in TW11 by Councillor Martin Elengorn, the LibDems want longer hours for CPZs and
extensions into surrounding roads. He has not consulted the Society, the Teddington Business Community, or the
residents in roads which may suffer from displaced vehicles parking. I have not received any requests for any such
change, but it is worth pointing out when last checked, there were about 700 parking spaces in the CPZs either side
of the station, but only just over 400 permits issued, leaving about 300 spare spaces between the hours of 0830 to
1030, plus about 140 spaces left by residents who drive to work elsewhere, a total of about 440 completely empty
spaces for a period of two hours. After 1030, shoppers arrive to park, and spaces turn over at quite a rate – that is
why our high street shops are so successful. There is no need for any changes, particularly as Haymarket staff will
be leaving Teddington shortly which will free up about 150 spaces at the river end of Teddington.
3. Twenty MPH Zones, more safety for pedestrians and better for shoppers
The 2001/2 Residents’ Parking Study recommended 20mph “Home Zones” either side of the station. This
recommendation was rejected by LibDem Councillors at the time, but they have now changed their policy and are
now seeking (as we still are) 20mph zones in Teddington. We will continue to press for 20mph zones – particularly
outside all schools.
4. Teddington Station Foot Bridge upgrade and platform lengthened for 10 carriage trains
After nearly 15 years of requests from the Society to Network Rail and SouthWest Trains, Phil Dominey of SWT
wrote to me before the press announcement to tell me that Teddington Station would be fitted with lifts to make the
station fully accessible. That is very good news, but it could have happened much sooner if our requests for pump –
priming funding from the Council had been met.
FLOODING – Brian Holder
The Society’s Executive Committee was so concerned about future flood risks in the light of the warmer wetter
winters and hotter drier summers expected under Global Warming, that I was delegated to set up a Flood Working
Group (FWG) to identify flood risks for Teddington. The FWG has held three meetings, the first to identify risks,
the second with the Environment Agency (EA) officials responsible for flood control measures, and the third with
MP Dr Vince Cable to alert him about the flood risks arising from the Ham Hydro scheme and future upstream
flood relief schemes based on the controversial Jubilee River flood relief design.
What flood risks have been identified?
RISK 1. Fluvial events such as occurred about 8 years ago and flooded central Teddington
Residents will need to monitor the Council’s, Thames Water’s, and Environment Agency’s maintenance
programmes to ensure that all storm drains and gullies are kept completely clear.
RISK 2. The outdated design and questionable location of the proposed Ham Hydro scheme
The Society supports in principle, the idea that there should be some form of hydroelectric scheme on Teddington
Weir. However, the proposed Ham Hydro design falls well short of the compact, more up to date, and more
efficient designs now being installed elsewhere on the Thames. The problem with this particular fixed screw design
being at the major floodwater flow point is that floodwater will be hitting the three screws head-on, and they will
have to be closed down early to prevent structural damage. In addition, the protective trash screens will be covered
with debris that cannot be removed for safety reasons until floodwaters subside. This creates an unacceptable
additional flood risk as the emergency by-pass sluice gate appears to us, to be inadequate in size. The trash screens
are also regarded as a safety risk for leisure sailors capsizing, intentionally or otherwise.
RISK 3. The gradual withdrawal of the protection provided by the Thames Barrier as it reverts to its main
objective – the protection of central London from flooding
At present, the Thames Barrier is regularly closed to reduce the height of tides, including those arriving at
Teddington Weir. The weir is overtopped many times each year, creating minor upstream flooding on occasions. In
mid-February last year, a combination of very high incoming tides and large volumes of water arriving from
upstream flood areas put parts of Teddington at risk with sandbags being issued to residents in Broomwater West –
fortunately not needed. If the waters had risen another 6 inches, there would almost certainly have been widespread
flooding in the Broom Road area, and a number of other locations in Teddington. Flood area maps are on the
Society website.
RISK 4. The Environment Agency’s River Thames Scheme (Datchet to Teddington), and the Oxford
Scheme. These two major schemes are intended to reduce upstream flooding by rushing floodwaters down to
Teddington via a series of Jubilee River-style cuttings and gates by-passing the main river, thus moving the
main flood risk area down to Teddington
On 24th December 2013, the Jubilee River floodgates were opened and Wraysbury and Datchet were flooded the
same day. The EA has claimed that opening the gates did not cause the flooding. However, residents we have
spoken to are convinced that the Jubilee River was to blame, made worse by the inadequate maintenance of the
drains, ditches, culverts etc. needed to drain floodwaters back into the Thames. We also believe that opening the
gates contributed to that flooding. We have asked the EA whether it is sensible or economic to have a "one club"
policy to reduce flooding in the Oxford region (and other reaches) by rushing floodwaters downstream, and ignore,
in the present Climate Change scenario, the longer term benefits of temporary storage and reduced flow-off by
better land management in the Upper Thames catchment area. We have suggested that a combination of measures
would be more appropriate for the 21st Century.