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The 25-metre man-made mountain has been subject to much mockery and derision since opening last month. The project was commissioned with the aim of attracting visitors back to the capital following the pandemic.

However, the mound faced criticism upon opening for failing to live up to expectations, with Westminster council admitting they had opened the attraction too soon.

In the latest disaster in the saga, costs for the mound nearly doubled from the £3.3million original budget.

Councillor Melvyn Caplan has resigned after with immediate effect as a result.

The council’s leader, Rachael Robathan, the increase in costs was “totally unacceptable”.

She said in a statement: “The Mound opened too early, and we have apologised for that.

“It has become clear that costs have risen more than anticipated and that is totally unacceptable.

“Our original forecast cost was £3.3million.

“Total costs are now £6million, covering every aspect of the project: construction, operation and eventual removal.

“With regret, I have accepted the resignation of my deputy leader, Melvyn Caplan, who led the Mound project.

“We have also instigated a thorough internal review to understand what went wrong and ensure it never happens again.”

The mound was meant to give panoramic views of Oxford Street, Hyde Park, Mayfair and Marylebone.

But upon opening, tourists criticised the attraction for still appearing as if it was under construction.

People were charged up to £8 to climb the mound, but refunds were offered within hours of opening due to complaints.

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It has since been made free to visit for the month of August.

Plans and grass covering the mound have begun to die.

Ms Robathan said the council intend to re-open the attraction dully in September when she is “confident” it will live up to its original expectations.

She said the current issues were “teething problems”.

“We are determined to continue our hard work to restore our city’s vibrancy, bring back visitors and ensure people can keep their jobs,” she said.

“Doing nothing was never an option.

“So when the Mound fully reopens in September, I hope that people will come and see it for themselves.

“The Mound may delight or divide views and that’s okay, but we’re confident that in the end it will fulfil its original brief – to get people back into the West End and remind them of why this is a world class City.”

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