Putney Bridge Injunction Upheld
preventing local developer from drilling any more holes into the granite walls
On Thursday a judge at Wandsworth County Court upheld an injunction against Putney-based developer and former architect Clifford Gardner.
The injunction, which replaces an interim order obtained by the council last December, prevents Mr Gardner from carrying out any further work to the Grade II Listed bridge and bars him from entering Watermans Green, which is parallel to the Lower Richmond Road and runs down to the foreshore.
If Mr Gardner ignores the injunction, he could be found guilty of contempt of court and sent to prison.
The council's action follows the discovery of large holes in the granite walls of the bridge just before Christmas. It subsequently emerged that a large diamond tipped drill had been used to cut through the bridge wall.
The aim of the drilling appeared to be to open up the large vaults that lie underneath the Lower Richmond Road at the junction with Putney Bridge and Putney High Street and are an integral part of the bridge's structure.
The vaults are connected to the basement of the long-vacant commercial property at 4-6 Putney High Street, which is currently being redeveloped by Mr Gardner.
Proposals have been submitted to open up the vaults and use them as a riverside restaurant or bar with views of the Thames, but detailed plans to permit this have not been agreed by the council. Any works in the absence of a full planning permission and listed building consent are contrary to planning law.
Planning applications chairman Cllr Leslie McDonnell said:
Mr Gardner has been ordered to pay £4,500 towards the council's legal costs within 28 days.
April 2, 2008