As part of the Twickenham Film Studios recent redevelopment planning application please find detailed FAQ’s for those interested.
How will you stop the building works causing too much noise and disruption to local people?
We are very aware that any building works has the potential to cause noise, dust, and impact from construction traffic. We will minimize this by using off-site construction for some of the building extensions, and this has the advantage of reducing the impact on the work of the studio by being faster and less disruptive. The new building on the corner of St Margaret’s Road will follow a more traditional construction programme but will vastly improve the public realm and street scene when it is complete.
We will be operating under the Construction Code of Practice issued by Richmond Council which restrict noise, hours of operation and other related matters.
The creation of an audience participation studio will lead to issues with parking, noise, and disturbance. How will you address this?
As the nature of TV and film changes, we are refocusing our work accordingly. Whilst there will be more members of the public onsite attending this new studio, there will be a significant reduction in the use of the space for other purposes like advertisements. This means that the number and frequency of commercial vehicles and late-night set movements will go down, reducing the impact of those vehicles and associated noise on local residents. We anticipate that the net effect on parking and noise to be neutral.
How will you ensure that people arrive by public transport and do not try to park in our street?
Events will be promoted with a clear request to use public transport and confirmation that parking is not available. The site is close to St Margaret’s Station and on bus routes and we will provide this information to audience members and others visiting the site.
Why can’t you accommodate visitor parking on site?
Twickenham Studios is a 24/7 facility and the limited parking on site is required by production staff. In addition, most of the site is not open to the public and making a small number of spaces available at the front of the site would simply encourage people to arrive in advance by car to secure such spaces.
We are worried that taxis will drop off on our street causing disruption. Can you provide a taxi rank in the development?
The provision of new taxi ranks is not the responsibility of Richmond Council, it falls under Transport for London. We will be encouraging the use of public transport and the site is walking distance from St Margaret’s rail station. Only licensed hackney carriages can use the taxi rank so this would not resolve the issue of cabs or organisations like Uber. Hire vehicles can also drop off passengers anyway so a rank would only deal with pickups.
How can I get access to the Co-Working Space you are creating at Twickenham Studios?
This new development will enable those working in the creative sector to share space or rent facilities. Many of those individuals will previously have been travelling into the city so this should have a positive environmental impact or working from inadequate space at home so this will enable people to have a better work/life balance and to benefit from others around them.
The space will be marketed to local people so we expect they will arrive using active travel or public transport. You can register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why are you opening a new cafe, there are plenty of places to eat and drink in St Margaret’s already?
We want to encourage local residents to support Twickenham Studios and to be part of the wider community. We are also developing co-working space, offices, and meeting rooms so it is important that we offer services that are attractive to small businesses and freelancers. We are confident that there is space in the local community for an additional facility and that the style and ambience will bring people to the area and in turn to support other businesses.
Will the expansion of the studios adversely affect my house price?
The film studios have been in St Margaret’s for over 100 years and have been good neighbours throughout that time. We have a strong community ethos and have developed a management plan with the local council to ensure that the views of our neighbours are considered. The buildings have become tired and outdated, and the new buildings and improved public realm should enhance the local area, making it more attractive and promoting the iconic history of the site.
We are worried that the film screenings and live audience events will put too much pressure on the local area with 180 people visiting the site at any one time. How can you reassure us?
The cinema has capacity for 40 people and the live studio space 150 people. To minimize the impact on neighbours and to maximise the experience for visitors start and finish times will be staggered. Access to the site will be through the main entrance building and not via the side vehicle gate on The Barons which will enable visitors to be processed on site and away from homes.
The site already has a roof terrace lounge, is this staying, and will alcohol be served here and in the cafe?
The Lounge will be reopening and will continue to provide hot and cold drinks including alcohol and light snacks. We hope to open this up to our community and users for private events as well. Twickenham Studios holds an alcohol licence but at this stage, details around how this will be utilized and what will be served in the hospitality venues have not been finalised.
Will the Studios extend the Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) to reduce the impact of extra parking on our lives?
We have been working with Richmond Council to see whether extending the time of the current CPZ would bring local benefits. Any such changes would be the decision of the local authority following a consultation with residents. We have offered to contribute to the cost of that consultation if they consider it will ease the issues on people living in neighbouring streets.
Will community groups be allowed to use the studio space so that more young people can get into the TV and film industry?
Twickenham Studios is committed to continuing to support its local community and once planning permission is secured more work will be carried out to develop this work further. We are keen to hear from our community, especially the creative sector, about how we can work with them to further St Margaret’s as a cultural and creative neighbourhood.
Will there be any new jobs created through this project?
Yes. Not only will our new cafe and cinema require a range of additional staff, but the co-working space will require some management too. We hope that it will also enable local businesses to grow and use talent from the St Margaret’s and wider Twickenham/Richmond area.
Furthermore, as we increase capacity in our studios, particularly in sound and post-production the need for creative professionals will expand and we hope this will attract local people to work with us on the site.
Will there be the opportunity for the local community to get involved?
Yes. We have always had a good relationship with our neighbours, before the pandemic we would meet with them to ensure that local issues were resolved, and we supported local events and projects. We hope to strengthen this relationship post-pandemic and look forward to welcoming local people back to the site for events and activities.
How do I apply for tickets to the live audience events?
There are currently no shows with audiences booked to use the site. However, once they are confirmed the application process will be directly with the production companies with details available through the Twickenham Studios website and social media channels.
Who will operate the cinema?
We plan to operate the cinema ourselves, showing a range of films and other events including those that were made here at Twickenham Studios.