MT 106/163

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Piccadilly Circus redevelopment: plans

Date range1961-1962
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries MT, subseries MT 106

Context

In about 1960, the LCC applied for permission to redevelop a site on the north side of Piccadilly Circus with a new building. (Why they had to apply for permission is unclear, as they were a planning authority in their own right, but we'll put that aside for now.) Permission was refused when the responsible Minister suggested that, rather than just putting buildings up willy-nilly in this focal point of the West End, they should instead develop a strategy for the whole area so that developments there could be coordinated.

As a result, the LCC went to a firm of architects and asked them to draw up a masterplan, which they did. The contents of this file are basically just the published outcome of that - a glossy booklet outlining the plans (essentially a framework for a revised layout to Piccadilly Circus and recommended sizes and shapes for buildings that private developers would then work to).

The booklet has plans of the proposals and photographs of an architectural model from many angles. The main features were a bigger square, elevated walkways, high-rise tower blocks and some sort of "feature" on the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue that is best described as a spire that would make Piccadilly Circus easily identifiable from far away.

Needless to say, none of it ever happened, and that's probably a relief.

Links to other files

MT 106/164 Piccadilly Circus redevelopment: press cuttings (1961-1962)

People with camera copies

Chris Marshall has a partial copy.