A London neighbourhood is a wonderful thing…(in praise of the garden square).

Sara Ransom of Stacks Property Search says, “Londoners living on the capital’s garden squares counted themselves as some of the most fortunate during the various degrees of Lockdown.

“Garden squares became a lifeline, giving residents the opportunity to enjoy outside space without coming into contact with too many people, and a place to stroll with other residents or share a glass of wine or cup of coffee when rules allowed.

“Demand has been extremely high for garden square properties over the course of the last year, and even with a route to freedom now a reality, we expect the popularity of properties that bring with them such a strong sense of community to remain high. They’re wonderful for London residents who want to get to know their neighbours. They’re excellent neutral space where conversations can start and people can get to know each other in an informal way.

“Not all garden squares are equal. Buyers should carefully check service charges, and also rules. There’s a huge range of what is and isn’t allowed.

“Some are very relaxed, regularly host residents’ events, and allow all the kinds of things you would normally expect to do in a garden – barbecues, parties, ball games, walking the dog, sending the children out to play – the usual stuff. But others are more restrictive, some don’t allow dogs, barbecues or even ball games. Many allocate different areas for different activities with children’s play areas, wilder areas for dog walking, and special places for ‘quiet contemplation’. Don’t think you can swerve the rules – it won’t go down well with your new neighbours.

“The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea has over a hundred garden squares, over half of which raise an annual levy which is collected as part of the council tax charge. But while Kensington and Chelsea probably have the highest number of garden squares, other areas such as Wandsworth, Hoxton, Shoreditch, Islington, and North Kensington have some lovely gardens too.

“While it’s generally clear who does and doesn’t have access to a garden square, it’s important to check. In most cases, the occupiers of every house or building, the front or sides of which face or form part of the square will be entitled to residents’ access. Tenants should be careful – just because the landlord has right of access doesn’t necessarily mean the tenant will.

“Ladbroke Square Garden in W11 is an interesting variation. Anyone who lives within 100 yards of its railings can join. It’s managed by a private trust, there are 650 members who pay £200 per year service charge, three local primary schools use the garden, and there are regular annual events for members. The seven acres are fabulous, there’s a quiet lawn bordered by lovely rose arbour, a football area, a tennis court, somewhere for dogs to walk and play.

“Buyers should expect to pay a premium for a good garden square, but while a garden square property is generally around 20% more expensive than its similar neighbour, some of that premium can often be attributed to the fact that garden square properties tend to be more prestigious properties in prestigious spots.”

Stacks Property Search, 01594 842880 / www.stacks.co.uk

Ends – 

For more information, jpgs and interviews, contact Amanda MacCaw, 01386 700068 / 07977 238175 / amanda@wildmaccaw.co.uk

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