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These are the privately-owned public spaces in west London which owners could restrict access to if they wanted

If landowners wanted, they could restrict access to public spaces in Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow and Westminster            

Londoners' "outdoor living rooms" are quietly and swiftly being taken over by private companies, the London Assembly (LA) has said.

Passing a motion for greater transparency when landowners of public spaces set access rules, the Assembly said on Thursday (September 7) that "it is appalling that access can be restricted" to outdoor space in the capital.

The motion seeks revision of an "unusual" planning rule, which means private companies decide who has public access to land.

Assembly member Sian Berry, who proposed the motion, said being able to know what rules you are being governed by and how to challenge them is a "fundamental part of democracy."

She continued: "The secretive way private owners of public places, like our parks and squares, set rules for the public must be made transparent.

"Even City Hall - the seat of the democratically-elected Mayor and London Assembly - is surrounded by 13-acres of the privately-owned More London development, which means that this outdoor ‘public space’ is controlled by corporate rules and not the law of the land."

According to Guardian Cities and Greenspace Information for Greater for London CIC , there are around 50 sites in London which are named "pseudo-public spaces" - 13 of them in west London - a total of 6.32 hectares.

Westfield in 2017(Image: Google Earth)

Privately-owned public spaces in west London

According to Guardian Cities, these are the sites, size in hectares and owners.

Ealing

Glebe Court Woodland (0.35), private.

Studley Grange Rough (0.14), developer.

Hammersmith and Fulham

Westfield London (1.28), Westfield Corporation.

Harrow

The Basin (0.71), Canons Park Estate.

Canons Drive Verges (0.53), Canons Park Estate.

Orchard Close (0.08), Canons Park Estate.

Rose Garden Close (0.07), Canons Park Estate.

Westminster

Channel Four Community Garden (0.18), Channel Four.

Brown Hart Gardens (0.12), Grosvenor Group.

Paddington Central (0.57), British Land.

Cardinal Place (0.91), Land Securities.

St Martin's Courtyard (0.09), Longmartin Properties and Shaftesbury.

Merchant Square (1.29), European Land & Property.

13 sites in west London are known as 'pseudo-public spaces'(Image: Birmingham Post and Mail)

London Plan

The LA's motion urges London Mayor Sadiq Khan to show more transparency in the next London Plan, when allocating public spaces to the private sector.

Nicky Gavron AM, who proposed the amended motion said: "Increasingly, London's public space is in private hands and there is very little transparency around which individuals and groups can have access.

"These are Londoners' outdoor living rooms and it is appalling that access can be restricted.

"It is vital this is dealt with in the Mayor's forthcoming London Plan and that city-wide transparent, accountable and uniform guidance for setting the rules for how these spaces are governed should be issued."

Full motion

"This Assembly welcomes the Mayor’s comments in response to revelations about the extent of privately owned public space in London and the non-transparent way private owners of public squares and parks set rules for the public.

"The Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills told the Guardian newspaper the Mayor’s new London Plan would seek to 'maximise access and minimise restrictions, as well as enabling planners to establish potential restrictions at the application stage for new developments'.

"This Assembly believes that the next London Plan should go further and establish real public transparency and accountability for setting rules to govern these spaces through the lifetime of developments, not just at the application stage.

"The Assembly therefore calls upon the Mayor to ensure that the aspirations set out in his Public London initiative are enshrined in the London Plan so that transparent, accountable and uniform guidance can be provided across London."

It was agreed by 14 votes for, seven against.

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