Council responds to resident ideas as new high street improvement schemes are progressed

3 February 2022

A number of high street improvement projects agreed by the Council are being progressed across Richmond upon Thames, following ideas shared by local residents during the Council’s 2021 Community Conversation events.

The Community Conversation is Richmond Council's engagement programme, giving residents and businesses an opportunity to meet their local ward councillors and have their say on what matters to them locally via ward specific events.

The 2021 programme was a series of dedicated discussions on the future of our high streets and town centres.

Residents were invited to join the Council and have their say, sharing their vision and ideas through small group workshops.

Some of the key feedback from all events included:

  • Loss of key services (banks, post offices etc) is seen as detrimental to an area
  • Small businesses and start-ups need to be supported, encouraged, and incentivised
  • Sustainable options are seen as important and the way forward, such as zero-waste or repair shops
  • A good balance between pedestrianised spaces and travel routes is seen as important
  • Spaces should be used flexibly to provide places for interest groups, classes and hybrid working
  • Visitor economy is important, especially to businesses in some areas and sectors and play an important role in helping to keep businesses open and available to local people
  • 'Green and Clean' high streets are a priority

View further feedback from Community Conversations.

Since the Community Conversations, which ran June to October 2021, a number of public space improvement projects are already moving forward.

  • Ham Parade - Scheme to improve trading environment for businesses and the market by enhancing the area alongside improved access for pedestrians and cyclists. Subject to further development and public consultation
  • East Twickenham - Scheme including improvements for cycling, greening, a public mural and a city tree. Public consultation has been completed are works are due to begin this year.
  • Broad Street, Teddington – Proposals have been submitted by local councillors and Teddington Together, including decluttering, renovation of street furniture and pavement repairs. An urban designer will review proposals and create a vision to work towards.
  • Heathfield - Public realm work and shop front improvements on Powdermill Lane and Hanworth Road, and signage linking the two parades. Urban designers have been commissioned to work on plans.
  • Whitton - Shopfront improvements to key shops, which would have a transformational effect on the street as a whole.
  • Hampton Hill - A number of initiatives to create a “square” which can be used regularly for local events and become a focal point for the parade. A naming exercise for the square is currently underway.

Further consultation will take place on the detailed design and delivery of the schemes through the Council’s usual arrangements. 

Councillor Richard Baker, the Council’s Lead Member for Business and Growth, said:

“The future of high streets is obviously not an issue unique to our borough – long before the pandemic impacted our local businesses, we were already feeling the effects of bricks and mortar competing with digital. Demand for online shopping and food deliveries has resulted in dwindling footfall.

“What the pandemic did do, was strengthen our local communities and many businesses were at the heart of this – providing support to the most vulnerable and giving people a focus in their local area. People reconnected with their neighbourhood and now is our chance to work together to improve these areas and ensure high streets, and the businesses that populate them, thrive for many years to come.  

“I’m grateful to all those that turned out to our Community Conversation events and gave us insightful, creative and valuable feedback and ideas. I am delighted that we are already seeing some of those come to life, and in many cases these schemes are being driven forward by local people. 

“There will be many more opportunities for people to have their say and I encourage people to seek out their local town centre managers or business and traders associations to discuss their ideas.”

Find local town centre and business contacts.

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Up to: February 2022

Updated: 1 March 2022

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