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Westminster Council has passed plans to create a ‘garden bridge’ over the River Thames, which will stretch from Temple to South Bank. Lambeth Council had already approved the scheme last month, and the permission from Westminster gives the go-ahead for the ‘unique’ feature, with just official consent from the London Mayor required.
The design is by Thomas Heatherwick, responsible for the 2012 Olympic ‘cauldron’ and the redesigned London buses. The bridge will reach 366 metres across the river, with a width of 30 metres providing the scope for the ‘garden’, to be populated with plants and trees appropriate to the setting. It is anticipated that the bridge will attract as many as seven million visitors a year, and at peak times, an estimated 5,000 an hour.
The scheme was originally proposed by Joanna Lumley, although it has also faced criticism from others, specifically that the £175 million price tag will be around 30% funded by public money that could be better spent elsewhere in London. There have also been concerns expressed about safety and control of numbers of people entering the bridge, and loss of views over the city, while an e-petition has already been launched against the proposals, demanding better infrastructure and rivers crossings elsewhere, away from the many bridges that already exist near to the proposed garden bridge.
The development’s supporters hope that the bridge will be ready to open as early as 2018, and that it will become another of London’s unique icons. However, Heatherwick has also designed a ‘floating park’ in the Hudson River, New York, called Pier 55, which will also be stocked with plants and trees.
This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.