Following several years of local engagement and 4 public consultations, we have submitted the planning application for Grosvenor Square to Westminster City Council.
This exhibition gives a summary of the designs and how we have responded to feedback. It also provides details on the statutory consultation run by Westminster City Council, and we encourage you to take part in this important part of the process.
We have worked hard to ensure the final proposals are grounded in the Community Priorities you told us were most important. We’ve used these priorities as a consistent tool to guide the design team and ensure that local ambitions are being met.
Since March 2020 we have:
The submitted designs would transform Grosvenor Square into a world-class public green space. They enhance biodiversity, enable climate resilience and celebrate the Square’s rich history, whilst supporting education and community wellbeing. Our ambition is to create a garden that meets the needs of a modern city, to be enjoyed for years to come.
Hover over the labels to find out more about different elements of the designs.
This online exhibition is split into 6 sections and structured around the Community Priority themes, which you can see by clicking on the icons below.
A garden for all ages and abilities, with distinct environments for everyone to enjoy including a Shaded Garden with a variety of seating to meet all needs.
The flowering lawn of the Open Garden retains the central open space at the heart of the square. The gradual mound channels passing foot traffic around the garden, creating a space for people to rest, read, or socialise,
Many people wanted the square to be a calm and restorative place and so we understood that accommodating large events should not drive the design. However, it was clear that there was interest in smaller-scale programming, which the large Oval Garden and social ovals would create space for.
Over the past year we piloted small-scale events which were well attended, positively received, and could be replicated in the future.
Enhanced management, security, and lighting will create a safer environment, which people can enjoy for longer through extended opening hours.
The entrances and Oval Garden path around the Oval Garden would be well-lit by lighting spires. Low-level lighting and discrete spotlights would illuminate the Shaded Garden path and social ovals. Lights would be directed towards specific areas within the Square rather than outside it and dimmed or turned off when the square is closed.
Entrances will be widened to make them more accessible, and the boundary hedge would also stop wide of the entrances to allow people to glimpse into spectacular planting within the Shaded Garden. Extended opening hours to 7am-10pm would allow people to enjoy the Square for longer.
Carefully selected planting at the boundary, next to the arrival and in the Shaded Garden will make arriving at the square feel like stepping into an urban oasis. There will be a more diverse range of flowering and fruiting trees, shrubs, vines, and climbers across the garden.
The meandering path beneath trees and amongst plants in the Shaded Garden would immerse visitors in nature, allowing them to enjoy the square at a slower pace.
People could also use the square as a shortcut between neighbouring streets, but the primary path around the Open Garden is designed to encourage people to walk around the grass rather than cut across it.
A 500% increase in plant species and 24 more trees will have a huge impact on Mayfair’s biodiversity and provide habitats for wildlife.
The wider range of native and non-native plants and everchanging mosaic of wildflowers, ferns and woodland shrubs will create special moments throughout the year. The flowering season will be extended through carefully curated plant communities, with bluebells and blossom trees bursting with colour in Spring and rich Autumn colours from late flowering shrubs and fruiting trees.
As well as trees that flower and bloom, the planting choices have been carefully considered to create a variety of sensory experiences in the Square. Find out more by hovering over the purple labels on the plan below.
A range of features and habitats will encourage and support more wildlife in the Square. Find out more by hovering over the blue labels on the plan below.
46 new trees of up to 20 different species would grow and flourish as some existing trees reach the end of their natural life. New trees are shown on the plan in green and existing trees outlined in grey. We have identified 22 trees that would be removed as they are poor quality, diseased, or expected to die within the next 10 years.
Most existing trees are London Planes of around the same age, which makes them susceptible to disease. A wider variety of species not only conserves more trees, but also has other ecological benefits by providing a wider range of habitats.
A variety of spaces including a large Open Garden and social ovals allow for different activities, including natural play space, really makes this a place for everyone.
The proposals include two new buildings nestled under two large trees at the south of Square.
An education centre for activities or workshops to get people closer to nature and learning about the environment.
A refreshment kiosk offering simple refreshments; the revenue from which will support the education centre.
There are two play areas identified within the garden, which will include a collection of naturalistic play equipment. The design of which will be shaped through workshops with local families. Social Ovals and paths within the planting will also provide routes for children or adults to discover and have fun.
The Shaded Garden and boundary hedge will protect the square – both visually and acoustically – from external factors such as passing vehicles. The sound of running water will create a tranquil environment, such as the wetland habitat and water features in front of the 9/11 memorial.
The design has sought to create a wide variety of different areas for different uses, while retaining the sense of space.
An innovative Environmental Net Gain framework will measure the ecological impact so that we can maximise and demonstrate what is possible in green spaces.
Swales, permeable paving, waterfall canopies, and wetlands will hold and filter water and offer slow-release benefits. This helps to protect the Square from large volumes of standing water and flash flooding. Rainwater collected on the hard surfaces will be stored in harvesting tanks for use in the dryer months.
Meaningful community involvement during and beyond the delivery ofthe redesign of Grosvenor Square is fundamental to our vision. The design includes a wider variety of spaces for community activities, and we look forward to better understanding the types of things people want to organise or take part in. Grosvenor Square already has a Community Steering Group, and we envisage the future of this group to evolve and take on a more active role in a redesigned square.
The statutory consultation run by Westminster City Council is now live. We encourage you to take part in this important aspect of the process by commenting on the application.
Please note that any comments made to Grosvenor would not be a formal response and so your comments should be directed to Westminster.
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