Plans to demolish a block of offices in Fleet Street to be replaced by a new set of law courts and police station have been approved by the City of London.

At the moment, the City of London has three courts in two locations, the Civil Court, Mayor’s and City of London Court and City of London Magistrates’ Court — plus four police stations and a headquarters.

The project, designed by Eric Parry Architects and dubbed London’s new “Justice Quarter”, will include an 18-courtroom facility and new headquarters for the City of London Police.

Map of development (c) Eric Parry Architects

The new court replaces the existing Mayor’s and the City of London Court, the City of London Magistrates’ Court and will also contain eight Crown courtrooms. Criminal cases heard at the Old Bailey will not be affected by the scheme.

The development is not entirely without criticism though, with Save Britains Heritage filing a last-minute objection to the plans which will see the 1920s era buildings demolished.

Candidly, the buildings are not that notable in the area though, and it’s doubtful many people would notice their absence on the street. Refurbishing them to modern standards would almost certainly have seen the interiors gutted to leave just a facade, and given that choice, so long as the replacements are exemplary, then demolition looks like the least bad choice.

Salisbury Square Development – Fleet Street (c) DBOX for Eric Parry Architects

The plan will be funded by the City of London through the redevelopment of the existing courts (Mayor’s and City of London Country Court and City of London Magistrates Court) and the sale of two police facilities (Wood Street Police Station and Snow Hill Police Station).

There will also be commercial development to the south of the site.

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11 comments
  1. Paul P says:

    Something just doesn’t sit quite right with locating courts and Police on the same site. Separation of powers is a corner stone of our legal system and geographically separating different centres of power within the justice system is helpful for upholding the concept.

    • ianVisits says:

      In many towns, the Police and court houses have often been in the same building — and here they will be in two separate buildings, just close to each other.

  2. Joel says:

    This scheme is awful! It demolishes many beautiful historic buildings from every ear from the Georgian period through to the 1920s. Your indifference to this is worrying for someone who cares about London!

    • ianVisits says:

      London has to evolve as well – it can’t be frozen in time, otherwise, we’d all be living in Tudor homes (or worse!).

      I know the area fairly well, and most of it is grim, very very grim, and while I think the Fleet Street frontage is nice, it’s not at all unusual in London, and not so unique as to be worth preserving.

  3. Chas says:

    It is disgraceful that no provision has been made to replace the horse stables that will be lost when Wood Street is abandoned.The presence of mounted police in the City is a valuable reassurance to the public, and bussing them in from peripheral locations is a retrograde step.

  4. Will Cowling says:

    The sale of Wood Street police station is not something that should be left as a subscript. This is a significant building in the City of London.

    • Simon says:

      So as I understand it this would leave CoLP with two sites; this and Bishopsgate PS opposite Liverpool st. Station. I imagine the Senior Leadership Team, Economic Crime, Intel & Information, all other serious crime would be at Salisbury Sq. leaving the bulk of uniform ops at Bishopsgate. Dont know much about horses but probably be better to stable them out in the country and lorry them in for operations.

  5. Ursula Jeffries says:

    I’m concerned about the 1893 building facade to Salisbury Court. This is a nice example of that era and I can’t tell if it will be demolished.

    • simon says:

      Is that the square brick building on the corner? Then yes it’s due to go. I think the side buildings are more of a loss than the fleet street frontage which might be 1920’s but are a bit bland.

  6. Paul P says:

    Defending authorities doing something on the grounds they do it elsewhere (appeal to authority fallacy) isn’t a great argument, but pleased to learn it is not proposed that police and courts share the same building here

  7. Chris Rogers says:

    To clarify, the City police only have Bishopsgate currently as a public counter. Several buildings are being demolished, not just Fleetbank House – that is why SAVE and others are protesting. I agree, not so much for their quality but because a key feature of most of Fleet St’s architecture is that it is composed of narrow facades clustered together – this will front an entire block with one building, which is not at all ‘exemplary’ sadly, IMHO, as I have been blogging about at http://www.chrismrogers.net since the plans emerged.

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