Substantial new square near St Paul’s Cathedral planned

The City could gain a new public square under plans to redesign the road system between the Museum of London and St Paul’s Underground station.

By David Wilcox

A hand drawn sketch of the area around St Pauls Cathedral
The new square would sit between St Paul’s Cathedral and the Museum of London. Image: Luis Torres

The square would be created by closing the southern end of King Edward Street as part of a scheme to improve road safety and air quality, provide better cycle routes and two-way streets, and wider pavements. It would also help to create a pedestrian route from Clerkenwell through to the Thames, knitting ECI to the City and the river.

The developers Orion Capital Managers are rebuilding the former BT HQ in Newgate Street to provide 556,000 sq ft of offices, with a gym and swimming pool in the basement, 1200 cycle racks, cafes, a market hall, rooftop restau- rant and public viewing gallery.

They are discussing a substantial voluntary contribution to the costs of the square. on their doorstep, if it can be linked to the completion and letting of their scheme in 2025. This would be in addition to the obligatory Section 278 Agreement supporting highway and public realm improvements.

The St Paul’s gyratory re-design is in two parts. The first is around what’s now called Panorama St Paul’s, and the second to the north around the Museum of London rotunda. The City’s London Wall West scheme, involving demolition of the Museum and rotunda and building 780.000 square feet of offices, is fiercely opposed by the Barbican Quarter Action campaign (see ECI Echo No.16 August/September 2022).

The first part of the gyratory scheme does not depend on London Wall West going ahead. A paper to the Streets and Walk ways sub committee says “phase 1 proposals (including King Edward Square) could deliver major benefits to the southern half of the project area if London Wall West did not secure all its required approvals”.

Creating the square would require two-way traffic in St Mary le Grand.

Over the next six months City officers will consult with a range of local interests on options that include both the square and alternative designs leaving King Edward Street open, Costs range from £16m-£22m.

At 2800 square metres Edward Square would be larger than Aldgate Square, completed in 2018.

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