Actress Joanna Lumley first had the idea for a garden bridge across the Thames: Picture: Reuters
Actress Joanna Lumley first had the idea for a garden bridge across the ThamesReuters

Joanna Lumley has expressed her joy that the Garden Bridge across the Thames has been given the go ahead by Lambeth Council.

The actress originally had the idea for the £150m bridge that will span the river between Temple and the South Bank. It could be open by 2018.

It has been designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the creator behind the London's Olympic cauldron.

Lumley said: "I'm grateful that Lambeth council has seen the potential of this stunning new public garden and crossing. The bridge is a fantastic example of innovative thinking.

"It will help to enhance the quality of life in London for both local communities and visitors alike and is a project the UK can be proud of."

Paths will wind through the gardens and the bridge's edges will sweep around in curves, in places up to 30m wide. The columns will act as giant planting pots embedded in the river for the tallest trees and plants.

Heatherwick said: "The bridge will be an extraordinarily special place, either to race across, relax in or look back at the rest of the city's sights.

"It is fantastic that the borough of Lambeth has helped London to take one step closer to making it a reality."

The Garden Bridge Trust, which is overseeing the project, will now seek permission from Westminster city council next month.

More than £90m has already been pledged by the government, Transport for London and private donors.

Lord Davies, the trust chairman, said: "This is a great day for the project. The decision by Lambeth council has helped to drive the momentum behind this iconic project further, taking us ever closer to reaching our goal. The support for the bridge has been overwhelming.

"The Trust also acknowledges that some concerns have been raised but continues to work closely with local communities to address them.

"We look forward to the decision by Westminster council next month."

The Garden Bridge could be open by 2018
The Garden Bridge could be open by 2018 (Dan Pearson Studio)
The Garden Bridge could be opened by 2018. Picture: Dan Pearson Studio
London's future skyline, with Garden Bridge in place (Dan Pearson Studio)
The Garden Bridge could be opened by 2018. Picture: Dan Pearson Studio
The Garden Bridge could be opened by 2018. Picture: Dan Pearson Studio