The large public garden, Grosvenor Square will reach its 300 year anniversary in 2025, and ahead of that, there are plans to substantially revamp the garden space.
At the moment, it’s pretty bland as a space, with lots of lovely plane trees to cast shade, but most of the space is a uniform grass lawn with paths and seating. A new plan has now been presented to shrink the lawn and surround the edges with a “woodland walk” running all the way around the park. The lawn will also be less heavily grassed, with more wildflowers allowed to grow in the lawn.
Although the park is managed by the Grosvenor estate, and it was they who laid out the square originally, it’s been subject to two Acts of Parliament.
When first laid out in 1722 as a public space, in 1835, an act allowed the Square to be reserved solely for residents of the houses around the Square. That caused a problem in 1946, when a memorial to President Roosevelt was proposed for the park. That meant a new Act of Parliament when permitted the statue to be erected, and park to be opened to everyone at last, managed by the Ministry of Works, whose powers were much later taken over by the Royal Parks in 2006.
Although the Square remains a public park, it is once again being managed by the Grosvenor estate, who want to revamp it to make it more welcoming to visitors.
Plans have now been sent to Westminster Council for the transformation of Grosvenor Square into an urban garden. Designed by architects Tonkin Liu alongside horticulturalist Nigel Dunnett and ecologist Gary Grant, the redesign of London’s second largest garden square could complete in time for its 300th anniversary.
The planning application says that the proposals will drive a Biodiversity Net Gain of 15.5%, exceeding best practice standards. A 500% increase in the number of plant species and 26 more trees will increase habitats for wildlife, improve local air quality and access to nature in the West End.