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Wednesday01 October 2014

Gensler's River Park delayed after safety fears

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Port of London Authority raises concerns over navigable space and tide effects

The timetable to build a River Park on the north bank of the Thames has been set back following safety concerns raised by the Port of London Authority (PLA).

Last week the City of London was forced to delay a planning decision for Gensler’s proposed 1km walkway, and has taken the project off its November 15 agenda.

A spokesman for the London River Park said: “The revised timetable does mean that it will not be possible for the park to open for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June.

“The delivery programme is presently being reviewed and a new target opening date will be announced in due course following consultation with stakeholders.

In a letter to City of London planners James Trimmer, PLA head of planning and partnerships, said it could not back the project until a number of concerns had been addressed.

These include the restriction of navigable space, tide effects, barge strikes, impact protection and how the park would affect operations at Walbrook Wharf.

The PLA letter said: “The scheme will increase the risk of collision through the concentration of traffic through the authorised channel and vessels taking evasive action to avoid collision with the application scheme or other river vessels”

Gensler launched images for the £60 million park late last month, with the scheme expected to be funded by revenue from exhibitions and corporate sponsored events on the park.

In September, Design Council Cabe criticised the design saying it was “not convinced that the detailed design… is appropriate to the character of the river”.

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Readers' comments (4)

  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    Good sense prevails.

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  • seems to to be merely technical concerns from the port of london- doesn't mean the actual idea's sunk. which is a shame.

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  • robert hodges

    I find it utterly crass that PLA concerns have not been addressed during the consultation period as a matter of priority.
    If a June 2012 opening cannot be achieved, surely there may be substantial risk that the facility will not available until after the Olympics also?
    Hence, why not just bite the bullet and defer the opening to celebrate that of Crossrail, another project that has enjoyed being developed in Britain?

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  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    It would appear that this whole stupid and purely opportunistic project, pushed by economic interests in the hope of generating large amounts of revenue from paid entertainment over the coming 5 years, whilst ruining the natural appearance of the tidal ebb and flow of the Thames where it reaches its banks, is now, er, dead in the water. I certainly hope so.

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