Update: Today Westminster Council approved the Garden Bridge proposals - the second of three required approvals - with councillors voting 3-1 in favour of the bridge. Though London Mayor Boris Johnson still has to officially rule on the plans, it is almost certain that he will ultimately give the go-ahead to the project as he has previously voiced his support for the idea. The following article was originally published on November 13th, after Lambeth Council granted the bridge its first approval.
Lambeth Council has awarded planning permission for the Garden Bridge, Thomas Heatherwick and Arup's planned crossing of the Thames which has been proposed and supported by actress Joanna Lumley. The approval is the first in a series that the bridge needs to become a reality, with Westminster City Council and London mayor Boris Johnson still needing to sign off on the project, according to the Architects' Journal.
Though the bridge passed Lambeth Council fairly convincingly with councillors voting 5-2 in favour of the scheme, the second stage in the approvals process will present a new challenge: one of the most prominent criticisms of the £175 million proposal has been that with its dense foliage, it blocks important views of the Thames' north bank, a complaint that may seem more convincing to the north bank borough of Westminster City.
An 800-signature petition against the Garden Bridge has complained that "perhaps it's a nice idea but it's in the wrong place," however advocates of the scheme have repeatedly cited the design's potential advantages for the local economy, such as Senior Partner at Farebrothers property advisors Alistair Subba Row, who said that "delivery of the Garden Bridge would fundamentally pave the way for much needed regeneration and economic development in this part of the South Bank."
Westminster City Council is expected to give their verdict next month, and if all goes to plan the Garden Bridge Trust have set a self imposed deadline to begin construction in 2015.
Story via the Architects' Journal