London's River Thames garden bridge backed by council

Visualisation of the view at night Image copyright Heatherwick Studio
Image caption The bridge will be covered with plants arranged by gardener Dan Pearson

A proposed "garden bridge" over the River Thames has moved a step closer after a council approved the plans.

The £150m bridge, approved by Lambeth Council, is the idea of Joanna Lumley and has been designed by London 2012 cauldron creator, Thomas Heatherwick.

The crossing would link Temple with the Southbank. It needs planning permission from Westminster Council.

One councillor who opposed the plans said it did not add to the area, but it was approved by five votes to two.

Sally Prentice told the meeting it was not difficult to cross the river as there were many bridges nearby and the estimated extra 3m people it would attract would make the Southbank a less enjoyable place to be.

Previously the government said it would provide £30m for the pedestrian bridge if a business case proved it was value for money.

Community website London SE1 tweeted that actress Ms Lumley, who attended the meeting, claimed she was personally responsible for the decision not to allow bikes to use the bridge.

Westminster Council is due to make its decision next month.

If funding can be found, it is hoped that work on the 1,214 ft-long (370m) pedestrian crossing will start next year with the bridge opening by 2017.

It would be covered with trees and plants, arranged by television gardener Dan Pearson.

Image copyright Heatherwick Studio
Image caption It is hoped that the bridge will be open by 2017

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