Lambeth Planning Application Committee report; read it and weep

1 Nov 2014

Lambeth’s planning department have totally ignored the needs of the community and seems determined to push through an approval for the Garden Bridge whatever the cost to London or the nation as a whole. Let’s be clear: it’s not a garden. Only 2,400m2 of the 6,000m2 will be green; the rest is concrete. That’s the equivalent of less than half a football pitch to cater for 7 million visitors a year.

 

It won’t be used as a bridge: according to the developers at least half the people going on it would not cross the river, but would do a U-turn. It will be closed at night and at least 15 times a year for events.

 

It doesn’t connect key London spaces like Covent Garden – for most people it will be quicker to cross the river 200m away at Waterloo Bridge or Blackfriars Bridge for St Paul’s. Cyclists are not allowed on.It’s going to get very busy: according to the developers 7 million visitors will flock to it in its first year –that’s more visitors than the London Eye, where 30 minutes queuing time is normal.

 

The South Bank is already the busiest open space in the UK, with an estimated 26 million visitors a year. And at the busiest times numbers on the South Bank will be up by 70%. This will not be pleasant.It’s going to block stunning views on Waterloo Bridge and along the riverwalk which provide a rare sense of space and openness, and a gorgeous perspective on many of London’s great buildings like St Paul’s Cathedral.

 

The Garden Bridge would also block views of Somerset House, and the City skyline and would truncate views along and across the river. The developers say it will provide new views, but only by standing in front of existing and long-cherished views. It’s not free: initially announced as entirely privately funded at £60m, costs have ballooned to £175m.

 

Heatherwick has form on this, like the Blue Carpet in Newcastle. But with no news of significant private investment, George Osborne and Boris Johnson have already thrown £60m of our money into the hat. You could build 10 brand new Jubilee Gardens for that price, producing 50 times as much green space.

 

And the Bridge would cost £3.5m per year to maintain. There is no evidence of where this will come from. If the Trust can’t find it, it will all fall to the public purse.So it’s going to get commercial: a supermarket-sized building is proposed on the South Bank to accommodate the Garden Bridge Trust offices and a giant shop or cafe.

 

Although the riverwalk was initially free, this year for the first time ever Boris Johnson is charging £10 for tickets to line the river and see the New Year’s Eve fireworks. The Garden Bridge will surely follow.In the end it’s just another tourist attraction. But there are already 22 national arts venues along the South Bank, plus the London Dungeon, London Eye, London Aquarium, Shrek ’s Far Far Away Adventure, and dozens of shops and cafes.

 

And beneath all the noise and bustle, it will wreck the river’s beach and delicate eco-system. The scouring and scarring from piles driven through the riverbed threatens the flora and fauna which support the river and its wildlife. The river foreshore – the beach – is London’s largest unexcavated archaeological site. Every time somebody builds into the river more of our history is washed away.

 

The Garden Bridge Trust spent 18 months working the politicians and planners before speaking to the thousands of people who live locally. They ran a limited 'national' PR consultation but only got 2,426 responses. We have run a local petition over a few weeks and already have over 1,000 signatures implacably opposed.The Trust have arrogantly presented us with what they consider a gold-plated fait accompli and expected us to be grateful. But we’re not. They would destroy the great beauty of the South Bank to erect a luvvies folly. DON’T LET THEM.Lambeth Planning Application Committee report: read it and weep: http://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/documents/s69725/06_garden%20bridge%20PAC%20report.pdf

 

 

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CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE GARDEN BRIDGE

We are dedicated to saving public space on the South Bank and over the River Thames. The controversial Garden Bridge is not needed here, it would destroy protected views and is democratically and environmentally damaging. Help us stop this now.

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12/6/19 Garden Bridge failure should be likened to Kids Company scandal, MPs told

17/3/19 Minister: it’s ‘unfortunate’ we spent £43m on Garden Bridge

13/2/19 Garden bridge charity spent £53.5m with no construction, TfL finds

12/12/18 Garden Bridge Trust claims £5m of public money for wind-up costs

31/7/18 Garden Bridge backers 'may have breached legal duties'

31/7/18 Garden Bridge trustees may have ‘breached their legal duties’ says QC

01/03/18 Boris Johnson defends garden bridge plan that will cost public £46m

01/03/18 Boris Johnson blames Garden Bridge project blunders on successor

28/02/18 Boris Johnson could face investigation over Thames garden bridge

14/8/17 London's Garden Bridge project officially abandoned

14/8/17 London's Garden Bridge project scrapped

6/7/17 Soothing the Garden Bridge’s troubled waters

22/6/17 Standards commissioner examines complaint against Garden Bridge review

11/5/17 Good riddance to the Garden Bridge: an eye-watering waste of public funds by Walter Menteth

29/4/17 Lumley fights on for her fabulous bridge

 

28/4/17 The garden bridge is dead – now £37m of public money must be repaid

 

28/4/17 Garden Bridge: London mayor Sadiq Khan withdraws support

 

16/4/17 Garden bridge project is a landmark of the post-truth era

15/4/17 A garden bridge to nowhere

7/4/17 Garden Bridge should be scrapped, Hodge review finds

 

27/3/17 Garden Bridge could cost £22 million more than forecast

10/3/17 MP warns mayor over Garden Bridge’s cost to taxpayer

 

28/2/17 Garden Bridge Trust cleared of financial irregularities

23/2/17 Top criminal QC raises ‘serious concerns’ over Garden Bridge contest

9/2/17 London garden bridge case weaker now than in 2014, says Treasury official

8/2/17 Garden Bridge: all-party pressure on Sadiq not to sign guarantee

15/1/17 Let’s not be led any further up the garden bridge

 

11/01/17 London garden bridge project's future is in doubt, say trustees

5/01/17 "If 2016 was the Year of Bullshit, then the Garden Bridge could be its monument”

27/12/16 Garden bridge charity warns more delays could terminate project

16/12/16 MPs investigating Garden Bridge question need for scheme

14/12/16 Letter from PAC chair Meg Hillier to  Treasury Permanent Secretary

9/11/16 TCOS response to the GBT's misleading autumn newsletter

16/10/16 Controversial garden bridge to cost public total of £50m – even if it fails to go ahead

11/10/16 Mayor must refuse to sign the Garden Bridge maintenance guarantee: statement on NAO report

11/10/16 David Cameron 'ignored civil servants over Garden Bridge funding'

11/10/16 Department for Transport ignored official advice not to risk public money on Garden Bridge

22/9/16 London’s garden bridge would benefit only the rich

22/9/16 Dame Margaret Hodge MP to conduct review into Garden Bridge project

7/9/16 Garden Bridge Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons led by Kate Hoey MP

17/8/16 £22m gap in Garden Bridge funds - Newsnight investigation

 

5/8/16 Thames garden bridge delays raise risk of major boat collision – expert

29/7/16 Garden bridge charity delays publishing annual accounts for five months

 

25/7/16 Garden Bridge: Tough questions for £175m Thames project

24/7/16 HS2 and the garden bridge are vanity projects – it's not too late to scrap both

21/7/16 Garden bridge may need taxpayer bailout once built, report says

11/7/16 Sadiq Halts Work On Garden Bridge

30/6/16 National Audit Office investigates London garden bridge grant

 

19/5/16 London's garden bridge: visitors urged to donate on Thames crossing

21/4/16 Boris Johnson accused of misleading politicians over garden bridge

 

17/4/16 Why did Sadiq Khan change his mind over the Garden Bridge? He's fallen for the sunk costs fallacy

14/4/16 Council consultation row over Garden Bridge

 

5/4/16 Lambeth’s Garden Bridge decision to face scrutiny

 

1/4/16 Joanna Lumley proposes Thames ‘Allotment Ferry’

 

1/4/16 Giant Boris Gnome planned for Garden Bridge

 

24/3/16 Architects and critics in last-minute plea to stop Garden Bridge

 

21/3/16 The Garden Bridge project reeks of cronyism and improper process. And here are the other 25 problems with it

 

18/3/16 London's Boris Johnson 'chided' over Garden Bridge design contract

 

9/3/16 Toilets and terrorism: Lambeth approves Garden Bridge plans 

 

7/3/16:  Garden Bridge: London council allegedly threatened over Thames project - by Peter Walker

 

7/3/16 Taking the piss out on the Garden Bridge - by George Turner

 

6/3/16 Thames garden bridge faces last-ditch challenge from local politicians - by Peter Walker
 

3/3/16 Lambeth could take Garden Bridge decision behiind closed doors - by James Hatts

 

1/3/16 Caroline Pidgeon pledges total opposition to the Garden Bridge - by Caroline Pidgeon

 

February 2016 ‘Thames Garden Bridge Procurement issues’ Walter Menteth, Project Compass CIC.

24/2/16 "On Bullshit" & the Garden Bridge - by Dan Anderson

 

14/2/16 Garden bridge: a project promoted and sold with half‑truths, deceptions and evasions - by Rowan Moore.

 

14/2/16 You've had your fun - let's put the Garden Bridge to bed now - by Rachel Holdsworth

 

13/2/16 Why is London's Garden Bridge worth as much as five Lancashire museums? Ask Joanna Lumley - by Ian Jack

 

12/2/16 London's Garden Bridge is exposing the messy business of architecture competitions - by Diana Budds

 

10/2/16 London Green party call halt to privatisation of public space in London - by Sian Berry

 

10/2/16 Is it still possible to stop the Garden Bridge? - by Will Wiles.

 

9/2/16 Garden Bridge procurement statement from RIBA - Jane Duncan

 

31/1/16 Muddy Waters - Jobs for the boys - by Walter Menteth

29/1/16 The Garden Bridge subverts the lessons of history - by Dan Anderson

 

20/1/16 Boris Johnson evades Tom Copley AM's questions about the Garden Bridge

 

20/1/16 Londoners' money put at risk by the Garden Bridge  - by Will  Hurst

 

17/1/16 George Osborne under attack overGarden Bridge cash pledge - by Mark Townsend

 

21/11/15 Why we must stop Thomas Heatherwick's Garden Bridge - by Jack Wakefield

 

17 Sept 2015. GLA Oversight Committee Agenda Item 8, p71-72. Walter Menteth Report submission to the GLA Oversight Committee to inform their examination into the procurement of the design and technical services for the Thames Garden Bridge. Document review, analysis, report & response to GLA questions by Walter Menteth of Project Compass CIC as expert witness on behalf of industry. 34p.