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.
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.
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.