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Thames Garden Bridge overcomes latest planning hurdles

Garden bridge

Four of the planning conditions for the Thames Garden Bridge have been discharged, after the Trust leading the project updated its construction plans to reduce disruption.

Construction of the controversial bridge, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, is expected to start next summer, although there are more planning conditions that need to be discussed and discharged by Lambeth Planning Committee before then. The conditions discharged on Tuesday relate to Trust’s construction logistics plan, the pedestrian and cycle management plan, the code of construction practice, and the tree removal plan.

The next phase of the contract with the Bouygues-Cimolai JV for the detailed design and other pre-construction services has started this week and preparatory works are scheduled to begin in spring 2016. Construction of the bridge itself will start in the summer of 2016, and it is expected to open in 2018.

Garden Bridge Trust executive director Bee Emmott said: “There is real momentum in the project and we are delighted we have been able to make adjustments to our design and construction timelines to meet the needs of the community following our consultation. We are working closely with Lambeth and Westminster Councils to discharge our planning obligations and to get the site ready for construction next year.”

The updated construction proposals were announced in September. They included a 35% reduction in the number of road journeys required for construction, a construction timeframe of 32 months, off-site construction of the main structure of the bridge deck in Italy and ensuring that a local park remains open to the public during construction. Deliveries by road will now come via two holding depots in south London.

Overall planning permission from Westminster and Lambeth Councils  was granted late in 2014, subject to the discharge of planning conditions. For Lambeth there were 46 conditions and 24 are pre-commencement conditions. Of those, 11 are completely approved and there are two partial approvals.

For Westminster there were 37 conditions, 12 pre-commencement. Three have been completely approved and there two partial approvals. A number of the pre-opening conditions (on both sides of the river) require compliance rather than formal discharge, for example a maximum height for trees on the bridge.



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