Chairman: Hilary Pereira
020 8892 5086
Hon Secretary: Pat Speight
020 8948 0643
The Upper Tideway branch has a limited social programme of talks, walks and picnics, some together with other local groups.
We have a presence at various annual events, such as Tidefest, the Great River Race and Richmond Fair, and currently host the RTS cutter alongside a vintage craft just below Richmond bridge. With other local groups, we engage with the Thames Landscape Strategy, supporting and enhancing on our special local Arcadia.
We have an interest in planning matters, trying to preserve what is best about the river, and are ever watchful for applications, including any new non-mobile houseboats, that appear to encroach on precious river space.
The river authority for us is the Port of London Authority We responded last year to their proposals for changing the legislation under which they operate, but have yet to hear how they propose to proceed.
We are a small branch in terms of the length of the river we cover, but hope we punch above our weight, for example in relation to policy matters.
Current Activities - Branch Update (September 2023)
Branch members have been out enjoying the river and more distant waters over recent weeks, so there is little collective activity on which to report. However, some of us came together for a picnic at Buccleugh Gardens August 19th, with shared food, drink and river gossip. A group of members explored the river bed at Brentford.
Policy work continues. We responded recently to another iteration of a planning application for houses at Ranelagh Drive, right by the river below Richmond weir. We objected on the excess mass, inappropriate for MOL (Metropolitan Open Land), a conservation area and the flood plain. Years ago the first building here was a boathouse, and so appropriate for the location. Planning creep since then has led to residential use, a recording studio and more housing units, some gaining retrospective approval by default. A built footprint that had not had planning approval, and too many housing units squeezed into unsuitable spaces, were now being expected to justify 3 large houses, much closer to the river than would be allowed for new development. The public gain was to be widening of the adjacent Thames path: sorry, the RTS argues that improvements to the path should be a given for any riverside development. The planning decision here is awaited.
Dialogue with Hounslow Council and others has continued over the slow development on the river at Waterman’s Park. The ‘residential marina’ is way behind the original schedule and some aspects appear to be departing from what had been agreed at the planning stage. We think a better future is possible for the moorings. The Park itself is now thriving.
The RTS has been in correspondence with the PLA, who were inconsistent when consulting on their Harbour Revision Order (HRO) over whether the tidal Brent was or was not part of their port already, and whether they wanted it to come in or out. We have argued with the PLA that owner-ship/responsibility was disputed and the PLA could not claim it, just because they could write their own primary legislation, unless there had been fair consultation with all parties. Which we did not think there had been. The RTS has no objection to the tidal Brent falling to the PLA, but recognise that others might. The next steps are unclear: we are waiting the overall decision on the HRO from the MMO (Marine Management Organisation).
Please see details of planned events on the Events page.