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Garden Bridge approved by Westminster Council

The Garden Bridge has been given the go ahead by Westminster and Lambeth Councils Photo: Garden Bridge Trust

A controversial new bridge over the Thames tonight cleared a major planning hurdle when councillors in Westminster approved the project.

The £175m 'Garden Bridge' was designed by Thomas Heatherwick based on an idea from Ab Fab star Joanna Lumley.

Planning officers warned councillors the tree-lined river crossing could wreck historic views of London and the river.

The bridge will run between Temple and the South Bank Credit: Garden Bridge Trust

The project has attracted fierce opposition from some residents' groups and businesses on both sides of the Thames.

But members of a council planning committee gave the bridge the go-ahead at a packed meeting inside Westminster City Hall.

How Temple station would look if the bridge was built Credit: Garden Bridge Trust

This is something that is iconic and absolutely unique, and will be recognised right across the world.I understand the concerns about potential loss of views, but there is no doubting that this bridge will bring substantial and significant benefits to London.

– Cllr Robert Davis, Deputy Leader, Westminster Council.

The government and the mayor have each pledged £30m towards the cost of the bridge.