A £175 million 'Garden Bridge' over the Thames is set to go ahead, after Westminster Council gave it the green light at a standing-room-only meeting last night.
Planning authority Lambeth Council approved plans last month, leaving just the final hurdle of formal approval from the Mayor of London, who is in favour of the bridge which will span the Thames from Temple tube station to the South Bank, just in front of the ITV studios.
There have been objections to the plans from a variety of organisations, which are concerned about the impact of the expected seven million visitors each year. Many cyclists, too, are upset that the bridge will be be only open to pedestrians.
So far, £90 million towards the cost of the attraction has been pledged by the government, Transport for London (TfL) and private donors.
Why is TfL contributing £30 million towards this project, when there's so much other work to be done on infrastructure in the city? The decision to invest was imposed on the body by the Mayor, who justified the decision (PDF) by saying the bridge will create more opportunities for walking in the capital, thereby reducing traffic; it will improve economic development on both sides of the river; it will generate health benefits; and will improve the quality of life for residents and visitors.
The bridge is expected to open in 2018.