City of London’s new “Justice Quarter” gets the go-ahead
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 today 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 recovery and 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
“It will also create new public spaces and have a transformative impact on Fleet Street, really
enhancing one of the most well-known thoroughfares and making it a more exciting place for people
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.”
Chairman of the Capital Buildings Committee at the City of London Corporation, Sir Michael Snyder, said:
“We are committed to delivering a scheme that enhances the City’s position as a leader in justice, law
“This development will benefit the wider Fleet Street area and meet the requirements of our stakeholders by delivering a flagship Court complex and state-of-the art City of London Police headquarters that are fit for the future.”
Founder of Eric Parry Architects, Eric Parry said:
“The adage that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’ fits well the challenge of the Salisbury Square Development, because three new individual buildings are bound together in a civic ensemble with the surrounding city.
“This new development is a commendable long-term investment in buildings and public space that will benefit Londoners and provide facilities that are befitting of the City of London’s leading role within the legal and law enforcement professions, both in the UK and globally.
The plan will be financed entirely 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). The opening up of these sites, together with the creation a new office building that will be built as part of the development, will help drive economic growth across the Square Mile.
The Square Mile is the oldest part of the British capital and a long-established global hub for business, with Fleet Street, to the west, a centre for legal services, after having been home to the newspaper industry throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Nowadays, more than 200 international law firms have an office in the area, amounting to 17,000 solicitors.
London is a major global hub for financial services, with 48% of the capital’s jobs in the sector located in the City. Financial, professional and business services also make up almost three quarters of all City of London jobs, with financial services alone accounting for 35%.
Through reclaiming materials from existing building, reducing energy demand through well-insulated facades, and the creation of an all-electric heating system, the development will also help support the City of London to meet its targets to achieve net zero across the Square Mile by 2040.