Thomas Heatherwick’s proposed £175million bridge across the River Thames has been recommended for approval by planning officers at Lambeth Council
Documents published by the south London authority ahead of a meeting of its planning applications committee next week reveal the council’s support for the controversial 367m-long project.
The final decision rests with councillors on the borough’s planning committee, which is due to consider the scheme on Monday (10 November).
An approval for the scheme next week would be literally only half of the story, however, as planning counterparts at Westminster City Council still need to approve the proposals that relate to their borough.
Heatherwick’s plans, which are backed by the Garden Bridge Trust, would link Queen’s Walk on the South Bank with London Underground’s Temple Station on the north side of the river, providing a new tree-lined pedestrian crossing between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge.
The scheme has not been without its critics and has been attacked for potentially affecting key sightlnies and for being ‘in the wrong place’. A petition, launched by campaign group Thames Central Open Space to stop the proposal, has so far amassed more than 700 signatures (see AJ 29.10.14).
However recommending the proposals for approval, Lambeth planning officers said: ‘It is considered that the development delivers substantial public benefit and is in general accordance with the development plan for the area and that no material considerations of sufficient weight exist that would warrant reusing planning permission.’
Westminster Council is not expected to consider its bridge application until next month.
If both authorities approve the proposals, they will be passed on for endorsement to London Mayor Boris Johnson and communities secretary Eric Pickles.