Both Garden Bridge supporters and objectors accuse each other of wasting public money in the wake of a failed legal bid to stop the £185m Thames crossing
Mrs Justice Laing refused permission for a judicial review into London Borough of Lambeth’s lease arrangements relating to the bridge last Thursday (September 15th).
The trust says it will now proceed with construction, once remaining planning and land issues have been resolved.
A Garden Bridge Trust spokesperson said: ’This is great news and an important step forward for the Garden Bridge.
’We now need to conclude negotiations with Coin Street Community Builders in order to acquire the land so we can start building the bridge.
‘It is a shame that our opponents chose to waste time and public money on a second judicial review which was aimed at deliberately delaying the project. We look forward to making the bridge happen.’
However, campaign group Thames Central Open Spaces - which backed the challenge by local resident Jenny O’Neill - hit back, saying: ‘It is disappointing that the Garden Bridge Trust continue to waste public money abusing local residents who have a genuine grievance against a council who sells off their public open space for the primary purpose of receiving a “windfall income stream”.
‘The GBT would be best advised to focus on their growing funding gap which now stands close to £60 million.’
The group said it would consider its options on what it described as the ‘limited judgement’ in the next few days.
Meanwhile, trust chairman Mervyn Davies rejected a number of allegations made by Kate Hoey MP about the project.
He said: ‘We have gone through the democratic process of obtaining planning permission, which included extensive consultation with the local community and stakeholders.
‘While everyone has the right to state their views, it is important to remember that this project has come through tough scrutiny…we are looking forward to starting construction soon. Now is the time to get behind the Bridge. We will all be celebrating together when we are walking across the Bridge in a few years’ time.”
Davies said that the trust is not far from being satisfied that it has received enough pledges from private donors to proceed with construction, with several announcement ‘in the pipeline’.
He said that all planning matters, including a land deal with Coin Street Community Builders for the south bank landing point, would be concluded by the end of this year.