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Second planning boost for controversial Thames Garden Bridge

Westminster Council has approved controversial plans to build a £175M garden bridge over the Thames.

The local authority’s planning committee last night followed Lambeth Council in voting in favour of the leafy crossing from London’s South Bank to Temple station.

London mayor Boris Johnson will now have the final say on whether the structure – criticised by engineers as expensive and misplaced – can go ahead. Construction could start within a few months.

The proposed Thames Garden Bridge has been masterminded by London 2012 opening ceremony cauldron designer Thomas Heatherwick with support from engineering firm Arup. Actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley has given it celebrity endorsement.

Project promoter and registered charity the Garden Bridge Trust has received pledges worth £110M towards the total cost of the scheme, including £30M from Transport for London, the same amount from the Treasury and, most recently, £3M from banking firm Citigroup.

But independent consultant Simon Bourne told NCE recently that a bridge with the same look, feel and functionality could be created for less than a third of the cost.

The Garden Bridge Trust has admitted that cyclists would have to dismount to use the bridge, and that it would be closed at midnight.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Ken Li Kim Khiook

    I am quite surprised that this project got approved that easily considering that it has been criticised on both the financial and structural side of it and that leaves an aftertaste of: ohh wow.. garden bridge... much fancy... so unique.. so much green.

    Is there actually a real demand for that bridge or is it just an extravaganza to say you London has a garden bridge? even if there is a demand, I do believe that the money could be better spent elsewhere and that this bridge is not a priority for london

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  • So nearly the same amount of money is going to be spent on one bridge that has just been pledged for the UK's cycling infrastructure? And for a bridge that cyclists can't use!

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  • Although i'm for new ideas and pushing the boundaries, I fear that this project will fall far of its promoted benefits in the long term. I can't see any sustainability arguments being put forward by its promoters. Copper cladding reeks of vanity.

    If the price tag was reasonable maybe this structure could be seen as a triumph; however I fear it will become a expensive reminder of wasteful design we thought we got rid of (20th century thinking).

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