First look: Inside London’s new ‘Justice Quarter’

Tristan Kirk
·2-min read
Impressions of the new court off Fleet Street (City of London Corporation)
Impressions of the new court off Fleet Street (City of London Corporation)

Major plans for a new 18-room courthouse and police headquarters in the City of London have been given the go-ahead.

Eight buildings off Fleet Street are due to be demolished to make way for the new development, dubbed a “Justice Quarter” by the City of London Corporation.

The proposals, which include civil, county, and magistrate courts, eight crown courtrooms, and a new base for the City of London Police, were formally approved by the corporation on Thursday.

It said the project – designated for fraud and economic crime cases - will be funded by the closure and redevelopment on the Mayor’s and City of London Country Court and City of London Magistrates Court, as well as the sale of police stations at Wood Street and Snow Hill.

Catherine McGuinness, a lawyer and policy chair at the City of London Corporation, welcomed the news, saying the development “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 most well-known thoroughfares and making it a more exciting place for people to explore.”

City of London Corporation
City of London Corporation

The new development faced opposition from groups including Historic England, SAVE Britain’s Heritage, and the Victorian Society over the demolition of historic buildings within conservation areas. they also raised fears that the view of St Paul’s Cathedral could be affected by the plans.

The Corporation said 400 new jobs would be created once the project is completed, while the public space at Salisbury Square would become more accessible.

Criminal cases at the Old Bailey are not expected to be affected, but Southwark crown court’s status as London’s specialist fraud centre looks set to come to an end.

The location, off Fleet Street, puts the new centre within walking distance of the Royal Courts of Justice and in the heart of London’s legal community.

When announced last year, designers said the ‘Justice Quarter’ could be open by 2025.

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