Plans by the City of London Corporation for a new development on Salisbury Square, off Fleet Street, which includes an innovative 18-courtroom facility and new headquarters for the City of London Police, have been given the green light.
Designed by Eric Parry Architects, the project, dubbed London’s new “Justice Quarter”, will deliver modern facilities to meet contemporary litigation and law enforcement requirements.
By creating jobs, attracting visitors and improving sustainability it will help drive growth in the Square Mile and beyond, ensuring that the City retains its position as a global centre for business, law and justice. Within the masterplan will be:
- The flagship City of London Law Courts, with its main entrance on Fleet Street
- The new police headquarters for the City of London Police
- A commercial development to the south of the site
- A larger and much more usable and accessible public space at Salisbury Square
- New east-west links through the site to create a truly permeable place
Known as ‘The Salisbury Square Development’, it is designed to last for at least 125 years and will help to re-establish and reinvigorate this part of the Square Mile, famous as the former home of the newspaper industry. Upon completion, it is expected that it will support 2,500 jobs, of which 400 will be newly created across a range of sectors.
The new City of London Law Courts will be the flagship for Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service and the Ministry of Justice, containing Crown, Magistrates, County and Civil Courts all in a single building.
This new court replaces the ageing Mayor’s and 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 building will provide significantly improved facilities and will be equipped to deliver justice in the modern age, with a focus on economic crime and fraud.
Flanked to the north east by the Old Bailey, and the Royal Courts of Justice to the west, the 18-courtroom cutting-edge facility will reflect the City of London’s role as a global centre of justice and legal services. It will also align with the HMCTS Reform Programme, launched by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice and the Senior President of Tribunals in 2016 to bring modern ways of working to the justice system, using technology to prioritise the safety and integrity of the legal process.
The new City of London Police headquarters will improve efficiency by bringing together staff in the purpose-built building to deal with national cases of fraud and economic crime.
The new development will help improve access to some of the City’s historic assets, such as Sir Christopher Wren’s St Bride’s Church and will also enhance public spaces around Salisbury Square and provide more attractions such as shops, cafes and bars, all within a stone’s throw of the River Thames.
Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness, said: “As a lawyer myself, I know first-hand that the Square Mile is home to a unique cluster of legal expertise and services. Maintaining this position as a world-leading judicial centre is essential as we drive our economic recovery forward and build back better from the pandemic.
“The Salisbury Square development will create a new civic hub, housing a state-of-the-art court and a new City of London Police headquarters. This project will reinforce the Square Mile’s reputation as a place to do business by ensuring we are able to adapt to the changing demands placed on the justice system.
“It will also create new public spaces and have a transformative impact on Fleet Street, really enhancing one of the City’s most well-known thoroughfares and making it a more exciting place for people to explore.”
Commissioner of the City of London Police, Ian Dyson, said: “This innovative design emphasises the importance of a whole-system approach to economic crime, with policing, the City of London Law Courts and business all sharing a space, which also includes outdoor space for people who live, work or visit the area to enjoy. At City of London Police, we are looking forward to our new headquarters in this bright, modern setting.”