Comprehensive Development Areas: City of London

Scope and Content

Material relating to different areas of London County Council's Comprehensive Development Area no 1: City of London:

  • general, (1947-1958 )
  • New Barbican, (c1953-1959 )
  • Saint Paul's Cathedral Precinct, (c1950-1959 )
  • Tower of London Precinct, (c1957-c1959 )
  • City of London river frontages and skylines, (1955 )

Administrative / Biographical History

244 acres in the City of London were considered suitable for Comprehensive Development, at Tower Hill, the Barbican and St Paul's Cathedral, and were designated as Comprehensive Development Area no 1 by London County Council.

The Barbican was under the jurisdiction of the Corporation of London. They commissioned Charles Henry Holden and Sir William Graham Holford in 1947  as planning consultants for a reconstruction plan intended for private development. A joint London County Council/ Corporation of London basic scheme, involving pedestrian/traffic segregation was produced in 1949  and revised in 1954 . A proposed development by the New Barbican Committee, an architects' consortium, was put forward in 1954 , with Kadleigh, Horsburgh & Whitfield, as architects. This was rejected after a planning appeal.

The Corporation of London commissioned its Golden Lane housing development from Chamberlin, Powell & Bon (although the site was actually in Finsbury).

The St Paul's precinct was proposed in the Holford and Holden City of London Plan, 1947 , but re-planned by Holford, in consultation with the Ministry of Housing and the chairmen of London County Council and the Corporation of London. This design included a forecourt to the Cathedral and a commercial area with a decking system.

The Tower of London Comprehensive Development Area was an area of urban blight with much war damage. The scheme attempted to create a suitable setting for the historic Tower. Partly in the City and partly in Stepney, this was a collaboration between the Corporation of London and the London County Council Planning Division North-East Group, under Percy Johnson-Marshall. The London County Council team leader was Walter Bor.

Access Information

Material relating to living individuals may be restricted under the Data Protection Act, 1998.


List of sources for the administrative history:

Jordan, Robert Furneaux, New standards in official architecture, Architectural Review vol 120, no 718 pp 303-324(November 1965 )

Johnson-Marshall, Percy, Rebuilding cities, (Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press , 1966 )