The City of London Corporation (CoLC) has launched its plans for a new court and police complex on Fleet Street, Square Mile. The proposals would see a flagship eighteen courtroom facility and a new state-of-the-art headquarters for the City of London Police, along with a commercial development that will help fund the scheme. The masterplan and design work is being undertaken by a world-class team led by award-winning architects Eric Parry Architects.
According to Courts Minister Chris Philp MP London is the global leader in law. People the world over choose English law for their contracts and London’s courts for dispute resolution. UK’s legal system is an essential part of our economy. “This new court, with 18 courtrooms, will strengthen our justice system and help us crack down on fraud and economic crime. “It will enhance our global reputation, attracting even more of the world’s most dynamic companies to conduct their business here. I encourage you to have your say on the consultation for this new court centre in Fleet Street,” he said as initial consultation around the proposals was launched.
The masterplan for the site proposes three individual buildings, the position of each responding to site conditions, constraints, and opportunities. The new court facility, with its main entrance on Fleet Street will create a high-quality civic frontage on this important London thoroughfare. It will house significantly improved facilities for users and staff and be equipped to deliver justice in the modern age, focussing on but not restricted to, economic crime and fraud. HM Courts and Tribunal Service will take a long lease from the City of London Corporation for a peppercorn rent.
The City of London Police will be provided with a headquarters to support modern policing and the CoLP’s local and national remit and designed in close consultation with officers and staff. The force is currently housed in four sites across the City and some of its buildings are old, inflexible, and costly to maintain. Having a purpose-built headquarters at the very heart of the Square Mile will maximise operational effectiveness.
The sale of the vacated courts and police buildings, which are no longer fit for 21st century justice and policing, will offer options for restoration and uses more fitting to their historic locations.
A commercial building is planned for the rear of the site providing office accommodation and space for retail, bars, or restaurants at ground floor level, creating a vibrant street scene on the route down towards the river.
The masterplan has been devised to improve all the routes through the site, which is impermeable with a large 1970s office block cutting off pedestrian movement. A new east-west link will provide- a natural walking route, whilst an enlarged and pedestrianised Salisbury Square – currently an underutilised roundabout – will provide citizens and visitors with a vastly improved public space . The proposed new connection will frame the magnificent spire of the Grade I listed Wren-designed St Bride’s Church.