15 DECEMBER 2021

Plans to transform Grosvenor Square into extraordinary urban garden submitted

Grosvenor has submitted proposals to Westminster City Council for the transformation of Grosvenor Square into an extraordinary urban garden.
  • Proposals drive a significant biodiversity gain and enhance Mayfair’s climate resilience
  • Designed to be carbon neutral from day one, removing additional over the long term
  • 88% of participants in final consultation were supportive of the designs

Grosvenor has submitted proposals to Westminster City Council for the transformation of Grosvenor Square into an extraordinary urban garden. If approved, the redesign of London’s second largest garden square could complete in time for its 300th anniversary in 2025.

Designed by architects Tonkin Liu alongside renowned horticulturalist Nigel Dunnett and ecologist Gary Grant, the renewed garden will celebrate and restore the square’s historic features, and introduce new elements including:

  • A shaded garden showcasing biodiverse planting and providing new walkways to explore
  • A central open garden re-instating the original 1720s oval shape
  • Flowering entryways, providing wildlife habitats and a sense of calm for visitors
  • Waterfall canopies, wetlands and channels capturing and storing rainwater for re-use
  • New play spaces and an education centre

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 (+35%) will increase habitats for wildlife, improve local air quality and access to nature in the West End.

In line with its sustainability commitments, Grosvenor will deliver and operate the scheme as carbon neutral from day one. Through a highly sustainable design and management plan, embodied and operational carbon will be minimised, with remaining emissions offset through verified schemes.

Factoring in the significant increase in planting and revitalised soils, additional carbon will also be removed and stored within the square, helping reduce Mayfair’s climate footprint in the long term.  

The submitted designs have been informed by an extensive multi-year public consultation. After gathering over 3,300 responses, the programme concluded in July 2021, with 88% of participants supportive of the detailed designs shown.

Ed Green, Project Director, Grosvenor said: We need high quality public green space in central London that makes room for both people and nature. Our designs celebrate the best of the square and introduce features to engage and excite Londoners while providing new habitats to sustain more wildlife.

“Our long-term goal is to be a regenerative, climate positive business. In its design, delivery and future operation, every aspect of this project has considered how we can contribute to this aim. With the community we’ve been able to create a scheme that meets their priorities and can make a significant contribution to local wellbeing, climate resilience and nature.”

Nigel Dunnett, Professor of Planting Design and Urban Horticulture, University of Sheffield: “The planting in Grosvenor Square will be ambitious and innovative, and sustainability and climate-adaptation have been at the forefront of our thinking. It will be a robust, no-irrigation, future-proofed landscape, where all planting is closely fitted to the ecological and microclimatic conditions of the area, leading to a low-input but high-impact garden.

“We aim to set a new standard for biodiverse public spaces in London: swapping amenity grassland for sparkling flowering lawns, creating extensive areas of new woodland plantings beneath the existing London Plane trees, and placing diverse hedges around the square, full of native flowering and fruiting plants, to create wildlife havens. This planting will look good all year-round, not just in warmer months. It's about beauty and biodiversity and bringing the exuberance of a rich natural environment into a London square in a way that hasn't been done before.”

Anna Liu, Director, Tonkin Liu, commented: “Tonkin Liu is delighted that planning application has been submitted for the design of Grosvenor Square. We are proud of the design’s simplicity, biodiversity, integration of rainwater, celebration of the Georgian oval geometry, and absolute commitment to the social and environmental benefits a garden brings to central London. Our gardens create the soul of our city, bringing people closer to each other and closer to nature.”

See the submitted designs at bit.ly/GrosvenorSq.

To comment on the application please visit bit.ly/GSComment or search Westminster’s Planning Portal using reference 21/08289/FULL.

About Grosvenor

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Grosvenor is an international organisation whose activities span urban property, food and agtech, rural estate management and support for philanthropic initiatives.

We are a values-led business which represents the Grosvenor family and share a common purpose - to deliver lasting commercial, social and environmental benefit - addressing today’s needs while taking responsibility for those of future generations.  

With a track record of over 340 years, we work to improve urban property and places in many of the world’s leading cities, promoting sustainability within the built environment and enhancing the wellbeing of customers and communities. 

Our UK property business supports c1,000 businesses and tens of thousands of residents and workers across London’s West End each day. We also invest in, create and manage sustainable neighbourhoods in Liverpool and across England. As a 1.5oC aligned company, pioneering change and new ways of thinking about property we aim to ensure our places benefit both people and the planet over the long term.

For more information please contact:

Beth Gaudin, Sophie Marjoram and Molly Downes

Forster Communications

grosvenor@forster.co.uk 07765993047

Rachel Garstang

Head of Corporate Communications & Stakeholder Engagement Grosvenor

+44 (0)20 7312 2341 ext.6957

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