Terry Farrell has described the controversial Garden Bridge as an ‘indulgence’ and a ‘folly’ and said the priority for the capital should be new crossings in east London
More from: Farrell: ‘Garden Bridge is an indulgence’
The architect, who admitted he wasn’t against Thomas Heatherwick’s ‘planted’ pedestrian link across the Thames, was speaking at the international property fair MIPIM in Cannes where he unveiled a new four-point plan to handle the ‘unprecedented expansion’ expected across the capital.
Farrell, who claimed London’s population would increase equivalent to ‘adding a Birmingham’, said the capital had to build new town centres around emerging transport hubs; intensify the core; and make it one of the worlds ‘most liveable cities’ by making it the world’s first ‘national park city’.
He also proposed building 12 low-level bridges over the Thames in east London to bolster development opportunities and connect burgeoning new communities.
Farrell said: ‘The Garden Bridge is a wonderful indulgence – something of a folly. Although if somebody is willing to pay for it I am not against it. [But] if the money was from government then [those funds] should go into these [east London] bridges.’
The controversial £175 million link bridge which will connect London’s South Bank with Temple station had already come under fire for its location.
In October 2014 a local opposition group launched a petition after they claimed the 367m-long bridge should be built elsewhere, while Friends of the Earth urged the Mayor of London Boris Johnson to look at bridges for east London instead.
Last week the Johnson was accused of misleading taxpayers after it was revealed public money could be used to underwrite the bridge’s £3.5 million yearly maintenance costs.
The Joanna Lumley-masterminded Thames crossing was given the go-ahead by London Mayor Boris Johnson late last year having already received permission from both Westminster and Lambeth Councils.
The Garden Bridge Trust has suggested that work on the project could begin in December this year (2015) with the bridge set to open to the public in 2018.