Village Plan for the Richmond and Richmond Hill area

Your Richmond and Richmond Hill – Key Issues, Priorities and Opportunities

Community Ideas

Community Links Officers have been working alongside residents, community groups, Council teams and partner organisations since 2014 to help identify and deliver community priorities. Through village planning consultation, community members often raise ideas for the area the area they live in.

Many initiatives and projects are eligible for funding or part funding through the Civic Pride Fund, and the new Village Planning Fund.

Some ideas may not require funding but can be delivered through partnership working, sharing and collaborating in the community. If you have ideas or know of opportunities like these, please get in touch with your local Community Links Officer Lynette Lawson-Tyers:

Phone: 07943 555 676
Email: lynette.lawson-tyers@richmond.gov.uk

Ideas for Richmond and Richmond Hill

  • More facilities for younger people and an improvement of recreational facilities in Old Deer Park and Pools on the Park.
  • Signage to better promote the historical and architectural heritage of Richmond.
  • Upgrading public realm with more appropriate street furniture that would enhance the character of Richmond’s historic streets.

Community Facilities

Activities and facilities Richmond residents use for recreation and wellbeing:

Richmond Society is an amenity group supported entirely by volunteers, and has a full programme of events, meetings, guided walks and parties throughout the year.

Cambrian Community Centre is a volunteer run charity based between Queen's Road and Cambrian Road that aims to provide a wide range of facilities and activities for the benefit of local people of all ages.

Vineyard Community Centre is a local charity focused on supporting the most vulnerable residents of Richmond, including a community café, skills and training project, a food bank and charity shop.

Richmond Archaeological Society is a local society run by volunteers with a monthly lecture programme, outings and weekend activities.

Richmond Art Society is a charity for artists and art lovers running two major exhibitions a year and a substantial lecture programme on artists and art history.

Richmond & Twickenham Photographic Society is one of the largest photographic societies in the South East and plays host to many well known speakers for illustrated talks and demonstrations. They run a number of annual internal and external competitions and awards.

Cambrian Community Centre is a volunteer run charity based between Queen's Road and Cambrian Road that aims to provide a wide range of facilities and activities for the benefit of local people of all ages.

Vineyard Community Centre is a local charity focused on supporting the most vulnerable residents of Richmond, including a community café, skills and training project, a food bank and charity shop

Libraries

We are committed to keeping all borough libraries open. There are no plans to close any buildings and relocation of any library would only be considered if better facilities were secured.

Richmond Library continues to be a popular place with the local community. As well as access to a wide range of books and information resources, library users can enjoy the benefits of free Wi-Fi and a modern network of free access public PCs, with internet, scanners, printers and a variety of software. There is a full programme of events at Richmond Library.

Residents with a Richmond Card are also able to access e-Resources from home, including eBooks and eAudio. Our online catalogue and webpage acts as an access point to the Local Studies Archive and Image Gallery, eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines and our Online Reference Resources. All these electronic services can be accessed for free from home using the Richmond Card, giving library members a 24/7/365 service.

The number of book reservations placed online has increased year on year since 2013 - and continues to rise. During 2015/16 40,900 reservations were placed online by customers using computers, laptops or mobile phones. 78% of book requests are ready to collect within 7 days of request. This is the best service in London and is one of the areas where our service has improved the most in the past five years.

All our libraries offer assistance in basic IT skills and we deliver more advanced taster sessions through our Learning Team in the Information & Reference Library. For those who require assistance in seeking employment we also hold Work Club sessions.

Venue hire

Richmond Library now has a new community use space for hire in the new annexe building at the rear of Richmond Lending library.

The upper floor has been set up to provide co-working space for small and start-up businesses, and lone workers, and can be booked using the Richmond Card.

Art and Culture

Our Cultural Partnership strategy(pdf, 1400KB) sets out the vision for culture in the borough. The aim, by 2019, is for the borough to be even better known for its outstanding public spaces and river environment, world-class heritage and sport facilities, historic buildings and high quality cultural opportunities. It should be a place where all residents can benefit from participating in the borough’s cultural life.

The remit of the Arts Service is to make arts accessible for everyone and to engage all villages in the Borough. Often the arts and cultural activity that takes place is funded from external funding bodies, rather than the Council directly. We will continue to consult with local residents to ensure we are providing services appropriate to each area which take account of community feedback. There is no core funding for public art – public art projects usually occur as a result of improvements to buildings or parks/open spaces and consultation is undertaken. In some cases planning permission is required for public art for which  required consultation will be undertaken when needed.

All villages will take part in the borough's World War One Commemorations, the Music and Drama Festival and the Richmond Literature Festival. Schools from across the borough take part in the arts' service programme of activity including education workshops, annual dance showcase RichDance and Dramatic Edge workshops and performances.

The area is rich in culture with the Old Town Hall housing the Museum of Richmond and the Riverside Gallery. Previous years have seen high quality arts events, including outdoor arts festival Showtime and the Arts Council Funded Summer Festival programme 'The Skills Space' in Richmond's Old Town Hall. There are two theatres, Richmond Theatre and the Orange Tree Theatre, as well as two cinemas. These venues, Richmond Library and the Queen Charlotte Hall at Richmond Adult Community College serve as regular venues for the Richmond Literature Festival events each November.

We will continue to look at ways in which our programmes of activity, particularly outdoor arts and summer programming can tour to all villages in the borough, including Richmond.

Sports and Leisure

The Sport, Open Space and Recreation Needs Assessment is a comprehensive audit and assessment of existing provision of all types of open spaces, sport and recreational facilities including the quality of supply and their condition. Future demand for facilities, specific needs and opportunities has also been assessed.

The Council’s Sport and Fitness Services Team manage four dual use sports centres and two swimming pools in the borough. The Sports Development Team supports sports clubs, schools, coaches and provides assistance for elite athletes and promotes and provides activity for both children and adults with disabilities through its RISE programme. Visit the Sports pages for more information.

The Richmond Card is available for residents. It combines parking card/discounts, library membership, and the opportunity to join local sports and fitness centres. If you use any of our facilities once a week or more it will be cost effective to add on a leisure subscription when applying for a Richmond Card.

To find other local facilities including schools, libraries and sport facilities and much more search Find My Nearest.

The aim of London Sport is to make London the most physically active sporting city in the world. It can support organisations in a range of different ways.

Children and Young People

Our Children and Young People’s Plan and Needs Assessment(pdf, 923KB) sets out the direction and goals for the Council and our strategic partners, covering all services for children and young people up to the age of 19, and those available for care leavers and young people with learning disabilities up to the age of 25.

Achieving for Children is a community interest company, wholly owned by Kingston and Richmond Councils, set up to deliver their children’s services. Achieving for Children’s Local Offer is a website providing information on local services and support available for families including children and young people aged between 0 - 25 years with special educational needs or disabilities.

All services related to children and young people based in Richmond, can be found on the Children's services page. The Leisure and Youth Richmond Card gives young people access to our sports and fitness centres. It also entitles the cardholder to discounts on sports, fitness and other youth activities.

Heatham House is the nearest youth club to Richmond, accessed by over 1000 young people per year. It is now managed by Achieving for Children and run a wide range of clubs and activities.

Windham Croft Centre for Children is the local children and family centre and provides a wide range of activities for parents and young children.

The Vineyard Community Centre runs The Basement Door Music Cafe, a music event for young people, to encourage and support local talent ages 14 years onwards.

Health

We are committed to working in partnership with GP Practices, other health services and the voluntary sector to develop joined up services for local residents.  

Making Richmond a Dementia Friendly borough

We are leading Richmond Dementia Action Alliance (RDAA) - a network of 79 organisations based in, working in, or providing a service for residents in the Richmond borough, the purpose of which is to help local businesses and organisations to contribute towards a more dementia friendly borough. Look out for the nationally recognised dementia friendly logo in local business, shops, organisations and community groups.

For more information contact DementiaActionAlliance@richmond.gov.uk.

Alzheimer’s Society Richmond has Dementia Advisers and Dementia Support Workers to provide individualised information, guidance and support to people with dementia and their carers. Other services include peer support groups, dementia cafés and general information support.

Shaping joined up primary care services

The NHS, Richmond CCG and Richmond Council have also developed a Joint Primary Care Strategy that sets the direction for services in Richmond. The purpose of the strategy is to ensure that primary care is providing accessible, pro-active and co-ordinated care for residents closer to home.

The strategy will improve access to GPs overall through GP 'hubs' providing extra GP clinics from 8am - 8pm. The initiative is linked to pharmacies and the voluntary sector to provide support within communities. The Council has worked closely with all partners to support this project. GP appointments can also be made online. An appointment is guaranteed on the same day for children aged five or under.

Council and health service staff are receiving training – called ‘Making Every Contact Count’ – to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills they need to give good advice and information to residents. These courses are designed to enable staff and volunteers to develop the essential skills needed to identify people who could benefit from additional support, raise the issue with them and refer that person to the appropriate services.

The training does not take extra time or skill; it is about providing access to what is on offer in Richmond. The topics addressed are:

  • Addressing loneliness and isolation
  • Accessing new technologies
  • Introducing active travel
  • Promoting winter warmth

Voluntary sector and community groups can sign up online.

Services for senior residents

We run a Full of Life Fair every year, to celebrate older residents and the contribution they make in the borough, in conjunction with Older Peoples Day. This year's fair will be held on Friday 6 October 2017.

Age UK Richmond provides a wide range of activities and services and cover the whole of the area of Richmond upon Thames. These include the handyperson service, housekeeping, welfare benefits advice, moving home service, day centres, outings and community activities which include cooking and exercise courses. Get in touch by calling 020 8878 3073.

Parks, Open Spaces and Rivers

We have the largest area of public open space per head of population of any London borough. We have developed a number of plans to ensure the quality of our parks remains high. To see these plans, and for an update on all parks improvement works that are being carried out in the borough, see our latest update.

There are many areas of open space in Richmond. Use our park finder to locate your nearest.

National Nature Reserve is a new film by the Friends of Richmond Park, produced by Media Trust and presented and narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

New allotment strategy

A new allotment strategy will be developed by the end of summer 2017.

Trees

We have adopted a Tree Management Policy, the purpose of which is to safeguard trees both within public and private property. Where trees have to be removed for safety reasons we aim to plant a replacement in the same location.

Residents are able to make requests online for new trees to be planted. Any requests will be added to a list of sites that are surveyed in order to establish whether tree planting is suitable.

The borough is characterised by trees, and especially its long avenues of mature plane, lime and horse chestnut trees.  Large trees are considered to be the most valuable in supporting ecosystems, which is recognised within the recently published London iTree study and is also reflected within the London Plan (Policy 7.21).  The loss of larger trees results in a net loss of canopy cover and therefore a decrease in the benefits that are provided – an outcome which would contravene the aims of the London Plan and the Council’s adopted tree management policy.

The tree management policy adheres to the principle of planting the right tree in the right place, and seeks to complement existing property and infrastructure. It also considers the context of the established environment, such as existing species and historic avenues.

The ward works programme where larger trees are pruned as part of a cyclic regime is due to take place during the autumn of 2017. Lime basal and epicormic removal programme will be taking place during June 2017. Tree planting has taken place in 29 locations and a summer survey to identify replacement and new planting locations will be taking place in July and August 2017. This will include sites where trees have been requested through the village planning process and any areas that have been identified as lacking in trees within the Local Plan.

High Street and Commercial Centres

We provide funding from the Council’s Town Centre Opportunities Fund to Richmond. This supported a part time Town Centre Manager who worked with the Richmond Business & Retail Association that held bi-monthly business meetings. In addition, work was done with the London Ambulance service to install defibrillator machines in 10 locations in Richmond, one life has already been saved as a result of this project.

Christmas lights were installed on the High Street for the first time in 2016 and events took place across the village. All of these activities bring together the local community and advertise the local shops, helping to promote and support them as well as supporting the local charities.

We worked with businesses to develop a Business Improvement District which was approved by ballot in October. The BID company came into operation on 1 April and over the five year period £3.2m will be invested to improve the town and encourage new business.

Many things influence which shops appear on a High Street, including the location, customer base and traders’ individual preferences. Although we have limited influence on the mix of shops, it helps to make the High Street an attractive place to invest by maintaining the environment and providing funding to support local activity, such as funding towards Richmond’s Christmas event, alongside that raised by local businesses.

Planning policy

Use of vacant space is encouraged providing that the new uses comply with planning policies. Our local planning policies ensure that there are enough shopping facilities in centres to meet the local need and that there is a good balance of uses in each centre.

We provide shop front design guidance(pdf, 2637KB) for businesses and developers.

Our Planning policies are aimed at providing enough shopping and services for communities, which are established and based on detailed research. The amount of designated shopping frontage, where loss of retail may be restricted, is carefully defined so that each centre will have enough shops and a good balance of complementary uses. The health of centres, including the number of vacancies, is key to this process. The government has also introduced permitted development rights, which make it easier to convert shops to residential in appropriate areas.

Article 4 Directions

In May 2013, the Government introduced a permitted development right to allow change of use from offices to residential, and in such cases planning permission is not required.

Across the borough, there has been a significant loss of offices as a result of this permitted development right. In response, the Council made two Article 4 Directions to restrict this right. This means that in those areas to which the Article 4 Directions apply, planning permission will be needed for such development and the Council can properly determine each proposal. The Council is also in the process of reviewing all of its existing local planning policies, with a view to giving offices much stronger protection.

Business rates

We do not currently set business rate levels, only collect them.

Recycling and Street Scene

Issues around fly tipping, street cleaning, street lighting repairs and recycling and waste can be reported online or via the Customer Services Centre on 020 8891 1411.

We regularly runs campaigns to raise awareness, and works with the West London Waste Authority to encourage recycling in the borough. Council officers issue a fixed penalty notice for leaving litter if they witness the offence.

Highway inspections

All of the public highway in the borough is inspected regularly. The regularity depends on the nature of the highway. This varies from yearly to monthly. During these inspections vegetation that is growing from private property as to obstruct pedestrians and road users is identified with the owner/occupier being contacted.

They can be required to undertake the works and if they fail to act we may undertake the works and then recover the costs.

Dog fouling

We encourage responsible dog ownership, which in part means picking up after dogs. Our street cleansing contractor will respond and clear up when we receive specific complaints at specific locations.

Urban Design

The Public Space Design Guide is a Council document which helps officers in their day-to-day roles with streetscape design and is based on an approach we have been taking for some time. However, it is also intended as a guide for developers, contractors and other external agents working within the borough.

Community Safety and Anti Social Behaviour (ASB)

Our Community Safety Team works closely with the Police, Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) and community groups such as Neighbourhood Watch to help keep your village safe.

Richmond and Richmond Hill Village, in common with all the village areas in Richmond upon Thames, is an area of low crime and anti-social behaviour, and Richmond upon Thames borough is consistently one of the safest London boroughs.

Responsibility for reducing crime and anti-social behaviour in the borough is the responsibility of the Richmond upon Community Safety Partnership, which includes Richmond upon Thames Council, Richmond Police and other partners.

Policing

In Richmond Village the day to day policing of your area is carried out by the South Richmond and Richmond Park Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT). Each SNT has a named sergeant and a dedicated police constable (PC) and police community support officer (PCSO).

As well as the day to day policing and crime prevention work that your Safer Neighbourhood Team carry out they also seek to resolve specific crime and anti-social behaviour concerns in your area that have been identified as priorities by local residents at your Police Liaison Group (PLG) meetings.

Our aim is to make Richmond the safest London borough for crime, reduce ASB and improve road safety. To this end improving road safety has been included as a priority in the latest yearly refresh of the Community Safety Plan 2014-2017, and has always been a key objective within our Transport Local Implementation Plans.

How you can get involved

If you want to get more involved in reducing crime and anti-social behaviour in your village area by attending your local PLG meeting or becoming a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator you can contact your local SNT.

You can also find out more about crime and anti-social behaviour in the borough by signing up to receive the monthly Richmond upon Thames Community Safety Newsletters by emailing David Noakes, Community Safety Officer on d.noakes@richmond.gov.uk.

The work of the SNTs and PLGs in your area are supported by over 700 Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators across the borough.

Housing

Like most London boroughs, Richmond faces a shortage of affordable homes. The Borough Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) identifies in the period from 2014 to 2033 a net deficit of 964 affordable homes per annum, demonstrating the need for affordable homes remains substantial across all parts of the borough. Local Plan policies seek to maximise affordable housing, through a range of measures including providing more choice in the different types of affordable housing with the aim to provide for different levels of affordability.

The Census 2011 confirmed that 16.9% households in Richmond & Richmond Hill rent from a housing association landlord. This is above the borough average (12.6%) but similar to that found in other areas such as the Mortlake & Barnes Common (16%) ward. Historical development factors reflect the location of housing association homes.

Our allocation policy for housing association homes allows residents preference to choose the areas of the borough they wish to reside in (although this preference must be seen within a context of limited supply).

Transport and Congestion

We will be developing a holistic town centre scheme that seeks to enhance the public realm and support economic vitality, reduce collisions and congestion, improve provision for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users while enhancing air quality in the town centre. The scheme will be developed in partnership with local businesses,

We are also developing a holistic corridor project on the A305 between Aragon road and Richmond Bridge, that seeks to reduce collisions and congestion, while improving air quality and the public realm whilst supporting economic vitality for local businesses.

Electric charging points

A growing number of residents and businesses drive electric vehicles, they will play an increasing role in reducing emission levels in Richmond, while saving their users substantial amounts of money in running costs.

We have recently installed new vehicle charging points in residential roads in Twickenham and Barnes, with a view to expanding this number across the borough.

Roads and Pavements

Council officers inspect roads regularly, including an annual survey of roads in the Borough.

To report day-to-day faults on road and pavements, please use our online service. Officers will investigate the roads concerned and will consider putting together a business case for any repairs when resources permit.

Car Clubs

We support Enterprise and Zip Car Clubs in Richmond and you can obtain a parking permit if your business is a member of a Car Club scheme, and you need to park a registered vehicle within a Community Parking Zone during restricted hours.

Cycling

Our vision is to get more people cycling more often by making it easier, safer and more integrated.

The benefits of cycling for health are well known, but they also extend to the wider community - reducing road and public transport congestion, in turn reducing noise, improving air quality and providing health and wellbeing benefits.

The borough has one of the highest proportions of people cycling in London (7% of journeys in the borough are by bike). However, there is still more that can be done to inspire people to cycle and make it safer for all, so it's important that we have a clear plan on how we intend to support and encourage growth in cycling over the next ten years.

We consulted on a Cycling Strategy in Autumn 2016 to propose improved cycle networks across the borough.

For more information on cycling in the borough, please visit the Cycling pages.

Updated: 21 August 2017