Its local government councillors approved the scheme by three votes to one in a planning meeting this evening. Earlier today, BBC journalist Tom Edwards reported that the bridge would be the most expensive crossing of its kind, partially due to the materials being used in its cladding. The Garden Bridge Trust will now need to raise the remaining funds to build the structure, and secure Transport for London as a guarantor on maintenance fees as part of the conditions of Westminster’s approval. Proposed access structure for the Garden Bridge from the north bank of the river in an area government by Westminster CouncilWestminster Council, on the north bank of the Thames, was one of two London boroughs that needed to green light the plans for the bridge. “The substantial benefits of the new bridge, the iconic architecture, new connectivity and additional views created from the bridge, outweigh the harm to views from Waterloo bridge and the South Bank,” said the planners. Over 120 people attended the hearing tonight at Westminster City Hall, with interested members of the public being forced to stand at the back of the room to hear the results. Heatherwick Studio is working alongside engineers Arup and landscape designer Dan Pearson on the project. Lambeth Council – the planning authority responsible for the development on the south side of the river – gave its approval in November. The 367-metre pedestrian bridge, which consists of two fluted piers supporting a promenade planted with trees, is set to span the River Thames between the South Bank and Temple Station. British architecture news site BDonline also said that the bridge would cost £3.5 million a year to operate and maintain. Westminster’s planning officers had recommended that the local authority’s planning panel, consisting of four councillors, approve the scheme “subject to appropriate measures to secure the long term funding and maintenance of the bridge”. It will be funded, managed and maintained by the Garden Bridge Trust, a charitable organisation created for the sole purpose of realising the project. Related story: Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge will require groups of eight or more to “request a formal visit”Further examination of the planning documents last month revealed that groups of eight people or more would have to apply for permission to cross the bridge, a rule introduced partially in an attempt to discourage “protest groups” from occupying the structure. The project still needs a formal approval from London Mayor Boris Johnson, who has already declared his backing for the scheme. The committee was shown an extensive array of slides demonstrating the effect of the bridge on historic views of the Thames and landmark buildings including St Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Christopher Wren.