Garden Rules & Regulations

Like all other Garden Squares and public parks, we have to have rules to ensure the quiet enjoyment of the garden by residents as well as to ensure the peace of the residents of the Square is not disturbed. We welcome children into the Garden to play, as long as accompanied by a responsible keyholder, and are proud of our special children’s playground, which we believe was the first of its kind in a Kensington Garden Square.

By applying for a keyfob for access, the resident is deemed to have read and accepted the rules (byelaws) below. Access may be suspended for any resident found to be breaching them.

 

Earl’s Court Square Garden Byelaws

Established under the Kensington Improvement Act 1851

  • 1. Only authorized key-holders may enter the garden, accompanied by a maximum of 14 family members or guests. Permission for a higher number of persons to use the garden for any purpose must be obtained in writing from the Garden Subcommittee.
  • 2. No dogs are permitted, except assistance dogs.
  • 3. No ball games of any kind are permitted, nor playing with any object thrown or projected into the air.
  • 4. No barbeques or fireworks are permitted.
  • 5. No bicycles or wheeled vehicles are permitted, except: wheel-chairs; prams and strollers/push-chairs for children up to age 5; toys for children up to age 7; in all cases to be used on the paths only, except a wheel-chair may be taken on the lawn.
  • 6. No children under age 14 are permitted in the garden unless accompanied and supervised by an authorised key-holder
  • 7. Noisy or disorderly conduct or activities likely to disturb the quiet enjoyment of the garden, or residents of surrounding properties, are prohibited, including playing musical instruments, radios, mobile phones or other electronic equipment with loudspeakers
  • 8. No rubbish including left-over food and drink may be left in the garden.
  • 9. Picking flowers, cutting or defacing or damaging in any way the trees, shrubs and plants, trampling on or running through flower beds are prohibited
  • 10. Climbing on the railings, sheds or other structures, or tampering with the irrigation and electrical systems in the garden are prohibited
  • 11. The entrance gates must not be left or propped open
  • 12. Any chairs or garden furniture brought in must be removed promptly after use
  • 13. Anyone entering the garden does so at his or her own risk and neither the Garden Committee members, their Subcommittee nor the freehold trustees accept any responsibility or liability for any accident of any kind or for any damage, loss or injury to any person or property arising from the condition of the garden or its amenities and equipment, nor the acts, neglect or default of any person in connection with the garden.
  • 14. The Subcommittee may waive any relevant bye-law for an approved event in the garden, or amend or modify these bye-laws whenever in its reasonable opinion it is necessary to protect the garden and its quiet enjoyment
  • 15. The Subcommittee reserves the right to suspend a key-holder’s access to the garden who persistently breaches any bye-law, and to recover the cost of any damage caused to any part of the garden and its structures from any key-holder responsible for such damage.

 By order of the Subcommittee 10 January 2018 and approved by His Honour Judge Hillen at Blackfriars Crown Court 4 May 2018

What are the procedures for making the byelaws for the garden square?

    • The 1851 Act is quite specific on this point. It provides that the Garden Committee members acting through their Sub-committee have the power to make byelaws for the proper management of the garden under their care and for them to be enforceable in the courts once approved by the Resident Judge of the Crown Court responsible for Kensington Improvement Act matters.
    • The bye-laws having now had the Court’s approval now mean a breach of the bye-laws may be prosecuted in the courts, resulting in a court conviction and fine.
    • New Garden Square Rules - please click here for a Word copy of the bye-laws to print.

Organisation and Operation of a Garden Square

  • The Earl’s Court Square Garden is one of the 37 Garden Squares in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea administered under the provisions of The Kensington Improvement Act 1851 (The 1851 Act).  Much of the information in this section has been taken from the RBKC website regarding garden squares.  In relation to garden squares covered by its provisions, the act provides:
    • Those liable to pay Council Tax in respect of any dwelling surrounding the square and who have been resident for at least a year, are members of the garden committee.
    • The garden committee can appoint a subcommittee.
    • The garden committee or subcommittee is exclusively responsible for the care, management and regulation of the garden.
    • Procedures for the calling and conduct of meetings of the garden committee and subcommittee.
    • The garden committee must elect a chair who has a casting vote in a meeting.
    • The garden committee and any subcommittee have the power to make byelaws for the proper management of the garden.
    • At an annual meeting, the Garden Committee may determine the amount of money, to be raised via a Garden Charge which is collected along with the Council Tax for the relevant property by the Council, but handed over in full to the Garden Committee to maintain and improve the garden; accounts of the previous year's expenditure must be produced at this meeting.
    • Those people who have the right to use the garden enclosure (although the Garden Committee may by resolution allow others to use it).
  • The Garden Committee.  As outlined in the 1851 Act, those liable to pay Council Tax in respect of any dwelling in a property fronting directly on the garden enclosure and who have been resident for at least a year, are members of the Garden Committee.
  • The AGM (and any EGM).  The 1851 Act provides that the Garden Committee must hold an Annual General Meeting once each year.  This meeting must approve the precept for the following year, and must elect the Officers of the Committee and the members of the subcommittee to manage the Garden.  The Earl’s Court Square Garden Committee AGM is generally held in January.  When a date is selected it will be listed on the News Page of this website.  Extraordinary General Meetings may be called either by five members of the Garden Committee or by the Garden Committee Secretary.  Notices of both the AGM and any EGM must be posted on both gates of the garden at least seven days in advance of the meeting.
  • Finances
    • The Treasurer’s Report to the AGM outlines all of the financial matters regarding the operation of the Garden.
    • The Garden Charge (set by January 20)..  What can the money raised via the Garden Charge used for? For example, can it be used for CCTV cameras, children's play equipment?  The 1851 Act charges the garden committee with the responsibility for the maintenance and improvement of the garden including keeping it "enclosed, laid out, fenced, planted, gravelled, maintained, repaired and embellished".  It would appear that the intention was therefore to be wide ranging to cover all expenses normally incurred in the maintenance of a garden at that time and applied to contemporary conditions thus is taken to include e.g. lighting equipment and electricity, key access systems, seating etc. However, if unclear, the Subcommittee presents its proposal to all Garden Charge payers through the AGM and obtains a vote to support unusual or exceptional expenditure e.g. on replacing railings
    • The annual budget is agreed at the AGM.
    • Major expenditures such as tree pruning, maintenance of the paths, lighting, irrigation, the play area, etc are outlined at the AGM.  Funds are accrued annually and these expenditures are spread out over several years to endeavour to smooth out variations from one year to the next..
    • We believe that the Earl’s Court Square Garden represents excellent value for the residents.  You can find the Council’s Garden Expenditure League Tables here.  Look at the column headed Garden Charge Band D and you will see that Earl’s Court Square has almost the lowest per household garden levies in the entire Borough.
  • The Garden Management Subcommittee
    • We are a group of up to ten people elected each year at the AGM to manage the Garden on behalf of the residents.
    • Any Garden Charge payer who has been resident in the Square for at least a year can serve on the Subcommittee.
       

Relationship to the Earl’s Court Square Residents’ Association

There are two residents’ committees that are intimately concerned with the affairs of Earl’s Court Square.  This website describes the Earl’s Court Square Garden Committee.  There is also the Earl’s Court Square Residents’ Association which deals with all local affairs aside from the Garden.  The two Committees work closely together, but it is important for residents to know what their respective responsibilities are.

The Residents’ Association (ECSRA) encompasses the entire Earl’s Court Square Conservation Area.  Its Mission Statement highlights:

  • the preservation of the architectural integrity of the square
  • easing traffic and parking problems
  • the enhancement of residential amenities
  • providing social events for residents of the square.

If you would like to know more about them, please visit the ECSRA Website
 

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