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Thames Central Open Spaces is 100% behind Michael Ball in his legal action against Lambeth Council for the unlawful granting of permission for the £175m Garden Bridge. We wholeheartedly agree that Lambeth Council’s approach to planning in this case has been negligent and improper.
This legal case will highlight the serious misgivings that we have had about the Garden Bridge from the start; its proposals need to be properly and publicly scrutinised instead of being rushed through by both Westminster and Lambeth councils, each competing eagerly for the spotlight.Lambeth Council in particular, failed to address serious concerns voiced by local residents and major institutions such as St. Paul’s Cathedral and the lawyers of Middle Temple. The council seemed to be swept away by the tide of celebrity and they were more than prepared to sell the nation down the river. Yet the Garden Bridge Trust say they want to ‘give’ something to the nation; however to date, the public seems to be be its biggest financial contributor so far. In fact, the public will probably end up funding the bridge for the rest of its life.
And there is fast-growing opposition to the bridge as more and more people discover the misleading representations, the platitudes and the inconsistencies that have gradually slipped out from the Garden Bridge Trust.
The recent revelation that Joanna Lumley personally lobbied Boris Johnson for a cycle and pedestrian bridge in 2012, and then reneged on her wish to provide for cyclists at all, is just another example of the Garden Bridge Trust’s impudent behaviour during the stealthy planning process. A project of this size should not have been fast-tracked so quickly at the behest of one celebrity.
The Garden Bridge will ruin London’s largest nature conservation area and destroy protected views of historic buildings. We need river crossings east of the city yet they – The Garden Bridge Trust and TfL - present us with a tourist attraction in one of the richest and tourist-heavy parts of London. Where’s the sense in that?
It’s time to put the brakes on.