London 'garden bridge' gets planning green light

3rd December 2014, Comments 0 comments

A project for a new pedestrian bridge across the River Thames in London with green spaces and a price tag of £175 million ($274 million, 222 million euros) has received planning permission.

"Tonight's planning committee has approved plans for the London Garden Bridge," the London borough of Westminster's council tweeted late on Tuesday.

London's Mayor Boris Johnson still has to give the final go-ahead for the bridge, which is planned to be completed by 2018.

A decision is expected within the next two months, said the Garden Bridge Trust -- the association raising funds for its construction.

The bridge would connect London's South Bank with Temple underground railway station on the north side and would be the 19th bridge in the British capital.

The last bridge built over the Thames was also a pedestrian one, which opened definitively in 2002 between St Paul's Cathedral and the Tate Modern art museum.

The British government and the public-owned Transport for London have said they would contribute £30 million each to the project.

But the plan already has its critics.

Writing in the Financial Times newspaper, architect Edwin Heathcote doubted that access would be free and questioned the need to connect the two banks of the river at a point with several existing bridges.

The plan for the Garden Bridge has been designed by architect Thomas Heatherwick, who also built the swimming pool for the London Olympic Games in 2012.

© 2014 AFP

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