A Westminster Council planning block to the redevelopment of Marylebone magistrates Court has been turned over by the Ministry of Justice.

The Council had rejected the plans following complaints from the Victorian Society about the demolition of a former public swimming baths.

But a public inquiry over the last month, in which the Ministry was advised by planning consultants DPP, has determined that the plans should be given consent.

Civic significance

‘My conclusion is that this building would indeed provide an unequivocal signal of its civic significance and the presence and stature of justice in the community,’ said Daphne Mair, the inspector leading the inquiry. ‘ It would thus continue the longstanding judicial contribution of this site to the character of the area.’

The site will now be redeveloped to provide a new 10-court facility.

The current county court building will be retained with more court facilities developed on the baths site.

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the government’s building watchdog, and English Heritage have both give their support to the development.