Design watchdog joins architect Graham Morrison in raising objections to Boris Johnson-backed project

Proposals by architect Gensler for a 1km floating promenade on the north banks of the Thames in central London have been criticised by Design Council Cabe.

The scheme - which is backed by mayor Boris Johnson and won the Mayor’s award for planning excellence at the 2010 London Planning Awards - is in for planning at the City of London and has received more than 200 other objections including prominent architect Graham Morrison of Southwark-based practice Allies & Morrison.

DCC said: “We are not convinced that the detailed design of the park landscape… is appropriate to the character of the river.”

“It [the floating river walk] has the potential to be a significant asset to the City of London during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and 2012 Olympic celebrations. However, if this project goes ahead we find there are significant issues that need to be addressed, prior to a temporary planning permission being granted, to make this project a success.

“Further thought should be given to the overriding concept of the project, the design quality of the structure and its impact on the historic setting, the detailed landscape design, access and servicing and the impact upon ecology and archaeology. We also think sustainability should be more prominent in the design of the scheme.”

Allies & Morrison partner Morrison, writing on behalf of 30 local residents who live opposite the proposed park, said the plans “represent an unwelcome intrusion”.

The scheme is being funded with £60m from the Greater London Authority and also by Singapore’s Venus Group which is being advised by Mace.