This act seeks to protect certain squares, gardens and enclosures in Greater London.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Summary of the provisions of the Act

An Act to provide for the preservation and for restricting the user of certain squares, gardens and enclosures in the administrative county of London and for other purposes.

Section 3 (1) states that protected squares can only be used for “authorized purposes” including, “ornamental garden, pleasure grounds or ground for play, rest or recreation.” In addition, no structures can be erected or placed on or over any protected square unless it is necessary or convenient for or in connection with the use and maintenance of the square for authorized purposes.

Section 3 (2) states that subsoil and any use or structure below the surface of the ground is not protected or controlled so long as it does not interfere with the enjoyment or maintenance of the space. Consent is required for any above works relating to any below ground structure and works that are reasonably necessary for the servicing and work of the below ground structure can be approved subject to condition. Any application for consent must be determined within two months.

Section 3 (7)(b) states that the use of any part of a square for the construction of roads or road widening is not prohibited. If as a result the space is reduced to having little or no public advantage the protection of the Act can, by order, be removed.

Section 3 (10) provides that an offence is committed if the provisions of the Art are breached and enforcement action can be taken to remedy any such breach. There is a statutory duty under (11) to enforce the Act.

Section 4 (1) allows for the alterations, rearrangement or pre-provision of a protected square if a “sufficient substitute” space is re-provided. (2) Upon the completion of the re-provided space the protection of the Act can be transferred, by order, to the new space.

Section 25 (3) sets out provisions in relation to the service of relevant orders. Section 31 (1) orders made under the Act must be published in the London Gazette. Section 31 (2) states that proper records shall be kept of all orders and payments.

Section 32 states that the provisions of the act are cumulative with any other statutory provisions.

Section 33 of the Act provides exemption from the provisions of the act for named spaces (see Part III) so long as they remain in particular ownership.

The three schedules of the Act each contain protected squares in Lambeth. See opposite. Squares listed in Part II and III are covered by compensation provisions set out in Sections 5 and 7 and 9. Squares listed under Part III are exemption subject to their ownership by virtue of Section 33 of the Act.

There is no selection criteria in the Act which might help explain why some spaces were designated and others were not. There are notable omissions in this respect including Courteney Square, Kennington and Bloom Grove, West Norwood.

There is no provision in the Act for the designation of addition protected spaces other than those provided as substitute spaces under Section 4 (1) and (2).

2. The Schedule, Part I

Lambeth spaces listed in Part I are:

  • Windrush Square (formerly Brixton Oval)
  • Clayland Road
  • Josephine Avenue (front gardens to houses)
  • Melbourne Square (space at east end of Normandy Road)
  • Cleaver Square (formerly Princes Square)
  • Stockwell War Memorial Garden (formerly Stockwell Terrace)
  • Clapham Common N side (front gardens at The Cedars)
  • Crescent Grove

3. The Schedule, Part II

Lambeth spaces listed in Part II:

  • Albert Square
  • Becondale Road
  • Brixton Road Enclosure (verge outside 341 – 361 Brixton Road)
  • Durand Gardens
  • Hanover Gardens
  • Murphy Street garden (see Lambeth Square)
  • Lansdowne Gardens
  • Loughborough Park
  • St Mary’s Gardens (formerly St Mary’s Square)
  • Stangate Triangle (this space no longer exists)
  • Stockwell Grove
  • Stockwell Park Walk (at corner with Stockwell Road)
  • Trinity Gardens
  • Walcot Square
  • Grafton Square
  • Holmewood Gardens
  • Triangle Place (former Pleasant Place)

4. The Schedule, Part III

Lambeth spaces listed in Part III:

  • Kennington Green (this space is now subject to the provisions of the Act)