Camden and Westminster have been working together for some time on a plan to reduce through traffic in Covent Garden including Seven Dials. A proposal for a trial scheme was published here recently, and they are inviting feedback until 13th September via this form. They are now offering drop-in sessions, too, to answer people’s questions. These are on Tuesday 7th September & Thursday 9th September, 5.30pm to 7.30pm at 41-42 King Street, Covent Garden.
CGCA is broadly supportive of the proposals, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t still have quite a few questions ourselves. We are happy to see that the manned ‘Covid gates’ on Seven Dials will be removed so that legitimate traffic can get through, and the reversal of the North part of Mercer Street to try to reduce the traffic jams that used to plague that area (if you have forgotten how bad it was, see some footage here). We are not so keen on elements of pedestrianisation in Westminster streets, and have questions about some of the routing.
Congratulations to everyone who supported the campaign to preserve what was the Saville Theatre. To locals who appeared as CGCA’s witnesses and gave evidence in the first days of the hearing. And to the many people who attended the proceedings whose presence was important to show the extent of local interest.
The Beatles at the Saville Theatre in 1965 after collecting their MBEs. Sadly, the murals are lost.
Special thanks go to the CGCA’s own volunteers who led the campaign, and to our two expert witnesses who also donated their time.
Paul Velluet, the architect and great friend of Covent Garden who cut through the legal nit-picking to focus everyone on the harm to the unspoiled building and its legacy.
And Jane Palm-Gold, our local historian who brought to life the cultural legacy of the venue.
Programme for the first show at the Saville Theatre in 1931 – hardly changed on the outside as the Odeon we see today.
All this strengthened our cause for ‘conservation’, rather than the ‘gut and stuff’ job that our team felt better described the destructive proposals, even if they hadn’t included several hotel floors of shiny glass being plonked on top of this Art Deco gem.