The east side of Stacey Street, near Covent Garden, was bombed in the Second World War and used as a car park until 1981. It was then threatened with office development, provoking a campaign for its preservation as public open space. It is now managed by residents from the surrounding flats, working as volunteers. It has survived under difficult circumstances and is a pleasure to visit. The manner of its creation has given it a fresh and light-hearted character, not at all like that of a 'typical London park'. In 1985, the gardens won a Shell Better Britain Campaign Award. The garden was officially opened in 1986 by the local MP at the time, Frank Dobson.
The garden receives an annual budget from the local authority, as in the Calthorpe Project and local people come in mostly on weekends to participate in planting and upkeep of the garden using tools kept on site. The garden is surrounded by new high density residential construction which benefits from its location next to well-managed natural space in the heart of the city. A small playground/park area on the other side of a stone wall forming the community garden's boundary, is punctuated with graffiti and signs of a lack of ownership, whereas the Phoenix Community Garden bears no such scars.
Other community gardens in Central London: Calthorpe Project, Camley Street Natural Park