Garden Squares

What is a garden square?

The garden square is a distinctively British style of design, providing a communal green space and garden in a residential area. The Royal Borough has over a hundred garden squares so this section has been prepared as a guide for residents to the legislation regulating garden squares.

Forty six of the garden squares raise an annual levy which is collected as part of the council tax due from residents whose properties form part of the garden. The charge added to their council tax bill is called a garden charge. For information regarding the charges, please see garden square levies.

What is the law affecting garden squares?

There are two key Acts relevant to garden squares. These are the Kensington Improvement Act 1851, which applies to garden squares within the parish of St Mary Abbots in Kensington and the Town Gardens Protection Act 1863.

Who manages the garden square?

The garden committee or, if appointed, any sub-committee, is responsible for the management of the garden. The committee decides how the garden should be managed and the income and expenditure necessary to do so. Queries about the management of a square should be made directly to the elected officers of the specific garden committee.

What is the Council’s role?

The Council's primary responsibility is to raise the money levied annually by the garden committee for the maintenance of the garden square. The money is raised by means of a garden charge on the Council Tax of those people whose properties surround the square. The Council does not, therefore, have any responsibility or, indeed, jurisdiction in relation to the management of the garden.

For more information about the levies set by garden committees and the garden charges set as part of the council tax for each garden, please see garden square levies.

Who should I contact for more information?

If your garden square is one of the 46 covered by the legislation and you have enquiries about how your garden is run, or wish to obtain a key you will need to contact your garden committee.

If you do not have contact details for your committee, please contact the Revenues Policy and Control Section: 

  • email: ltclient@rbkc.gov.uk
  • write to: Revenues Policy and Control Section, Third Floor (Orange Zone), Town Hall, Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX.

If your garden is not one of the 46 gardens listed, contact details may be available on the Council’s Tenants’ and Residents’ Association Listing.

Alternatively, the garden you are interested in may be one of the Council’s local public parks. See details of local public parks, opening times and contact details.

Further advice

The Council has commissioned external legal advisers for Garden Square Committees for ad hoc advice: Contact Details