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Planning

Garden Bridge update

Lambeth has resolved two issues relating the proposed Garden Bridge over the River Thames, including a judicial review.

The bridge proposal is for a new pedestrian crossing from the roof of Temple tube station on the north bank of the River Thames to Queen’s Walk by the London Studios on the South Bank in Lambeth.

A Lambeth resident issued a legal challenge in January against Lambeth Council’s planning decision in November 2014 to approve the bridge proposal, subject to conditions – but that issue has now been resolved.

Cllr Lib Peck, Lambeth Council leader, said: “Lambeth council is pleased this legal challenge has been resolved. We acted properly in exercising the council’s functions as Local Planning Authority for the scheme and when granting planning permission for the Garden Bridge, imposed more than 45 conditions, which the Garden Bridge Trust must show will be met.

“As a council we always put the welfare and interests of Lambeth residents first, and will use whatever influence we have in regards to the Garden Bridge to ensure the best outcome for the borough.”

In a separate development, in April this year, the council received a nomination from a local group seeking to list the land known as Queen’s Walk as an asset of community value. Queen’s Walk includes the proposed landing site of the Garden Bridge in Lambeth.

The consideration of the land as an asset of community value was purely on its merits as to whether it furthered the social wellbeing or social interest of the local community. The fact that the land is the proposed landing site of the Garden Bridge was immaterial and played no part in the Council’s decision making process.

A council spokesman said: “Lambeth council has agreed that a section of Queen’s Walk on the South Bank meets the criteria to a designated as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). The decision was taken after an application for ACV status was made by a Lambeth community group, Thames Central Open Space.

“Lambeth Council owns the freehold on Queen’s Walk and Coin Street Community Builders currently have a long lease on it. The piece of land concerned has been identified as the potential landing point in Lambeth for the proposed new Garden Bridge across the Thames.”

The decision whether to list an ACV is based on a legislative test set out in the Localism Act 2011.

ACV rights allow communities to ask a council to list certain assets as being of value to the community. If an asset is listed and then comes up for sale, communities then have six months to put together a bid to buy it. The legislation does not give a right to buy the land in question – but it does give potential bidders the time to put a proposal together.

Should a relevant disposal be triggered (which could be a disposal, assignment or sublease) a moratorium is likely to be effected which will last six months. At the end of that, the owner may dispose of the asset in question to any party they choose.

Any future change in use of the land would have to be negotiated between Lambeth council and Coin Street Community Builders.

http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-applications-and-policies/garden-bridge-questions-and-answers

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