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.