Proposals for New City Court

Great Portland Estates plc is bringing forward proposals for New City Court on St. Thomas Street, which will deliver:

  • Improvements to the existing London Underground Entrance/Exit on Borough High Street, including the creation of a new station entrance on the building’s east side to improve pedestrian flow
  • Create approximately 1,900m2 of new public space, including a new courtyard made up of 1,300m2 of outdoor recreational space and 600m2 elevated gardens in the proposed new building
  • Approximately 2,300m2 of new retail space and 31,600m2 of new office space through enhancing the existing historic buildings on site and in the proposed new building

new city court map

History of the Yards

Historical records show a mix of former uses for the New City Court site including a former church, burial ground and a coaching inn with stableyard. Throughout history openings through the site became a recurring characteristic to the sites arrangement.

Records from 1881 documented the death of the yards as the coaching inn functions became redundant with the arrival of the railway at London Bridge. Despite calls for preservation, the yards were subject to substantial clearance and ceased to function as destinations in their own right.

Over recent decades, the nature and use of Kings Head Yard has changed and today it provides little more than a service route for the site and other buildings along it. Throughout the history of the New City Court site maintained the openness of the traditional yard arrangement and accessibility with openings in the north and south site boundaries.

The building footprint of the late 1980s office block removed usable outdoor spaces and closed off historic routes into the site.

Our proposal for the site includes reinstating the yard arrangement and to improve accessibility and journeys through the site.

Our Plans

London Underground Entrance

The London Underground entrance located at the west end of the site suffers from severe overcrowding during peak times. Pedestrian studies have indicated that the existing entrance arrangement does not efficiently support customer use. 20% of current LUL customer flows from the Borough High Street station entrance are directed towards the east of the site including the hospital campus and the Shard. A further 35% of footfall is directed south along Borough High Street. As advised by the London Borough of Southwark, the junction in front of the entrance on Borough High Street has one of the Capital’s worst pedestrian accident statistics. A product of the importance of the London Bridge crossing, there are limited opportunities to improve the current highways design.

Our Proposal

The development of the New City Court site provides an opportunity to improve the existing condition of the London Underground Entrance on Borough High Street. The TfL / LUL supported proposal is to open up the rear of the LUL Station box at ground level to provide a new exit directly onto the New City Court site new public realm and the enhanced connectivity it affords. TfL believe that the enhancement in wayfinding and greater pausing space provided by the new generous public realm will mean that a proportion of the 35% of users heading south will now use the new station entrance and the historic yards, further relieving pressure on Borough High Street.

Improving Retail in the Area

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris have identified a ‘horseshoe’ of retail space available at ground floor level in the wider London Bridge area. The existing New City Court site breaks the retail ‘horseshoe’ and does not acknowledge or support the range of weekday and weekend visitors to the area.

Early consultation with the London Borough of Southwark established St. Thomas Street as the missing link within a retail ‘horseshoe’ spanning from Hayes Galleria via the redeveloped station and onto Borough Market and the Vinopolis site to the west.

Our Proposal

The development of the New City Court site provides an opportunity to complete the retail ‘horseshoe’ of the local area. With the changing character of London Bridge, with the influx of large commercial occupiers, the NCC development is envisaged as a curated high end retail environment alongside “independent” food and drink offerings. Set over three levels and contained both within the proposed new building and unique Victorian town-house/ Keats House settings there is an opportunity to create an active and diverse offer that acknowledges the range of weekday and weekend visitors to the area.

Improving Public Space in the Area

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris have identified a deficit in quality public spaces in the wider London Bridge area. Sizeable spaces with public access include Southwark Cathedral, some 5 minutes walk from site, and the gardens surrounding City Hall almost 15 minutes walk from the New City Court Site. Smaller public spaces can be found due south of the site.

The London Bridge Area poll suggests a local interest in high quality recreational space.

Our Proposal

From the project’s inception the focus has been on how the site and redevelopment could enhance this area of Southwark and unlock both the regeneration of the underutilised historic yards and provide generous and accessible new public spaces and routes.

A new generous public square provides connections and permeability in the context of a new retail environment at ground and ground mezzanine levels.

Consultation

We are keen to talk to people about our plans.

If you would like to provide feedback you can attend one of our public exhibitions being held at the London Bridge Hotel on the 12th and 13th October. The details of the events are below.

Address: The London Bridge Hotel, 8-18 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG

Friday 12th October – 3pm to 6.30pm

Saturday 13th October – 12pm to 3pm

If you cannot make our public exhibitions, you can view a copy of the consultation materials by clicking on the button below and you can also submit any comments you have through our online feedback form.

Contact Us

If you would like to contact us for any reason, please use the details below:

newcitycourt@kandaconsulting.co.uk

+44 (0)20 3900 3676