Key Principles and Objectives

The Study takes as a basic premise that streets are like rooms, with floors and walls. And the most attractive are those with a degree of harmony. The floors or streets are under public ownership and the walls or buildings mostly under private ownership. To maintain and enhance the totality of the public realm, partnership working is essential and should be based upon a shared and practical vision.

CarriagewaysFacades brickwork/stuccoLighting
FootwaysFascia boards and projecting cornices (enabling planting)Plaques
Greening tree clustersGreening facadesSeating
KerbsHanging and other signsSignage
Lighting façade & post mounted using the Covent Garden Lantern®Shopfronts
Litter BinsShopfront colours
Market StallsShopfront lighting
Street neighbourhood name plates on facadesOutside seating
Street signage and Legible London way-finding signsSignage and marketing material using the Trust’s Gold Hind drawing

The Study has been produced as a technical reference for local use and as an exemplar for other conservation areas. While specifically intended to be of value to anyone connected with Seven Dials and Covent Garden, it is also intended to form a model for the study of an historic area, for use by all those interested in the conservation and enhancement of heritage.

The key principles and objectives are to:

  1. Retain the unique 1690s street plan and the scale, fabric, form and detail of the historic buildings and structures in the study area;
  2. Maintain the variety of mixed commercial uses and a mixed residential community;
  3. Reduce the dominance and impact of vehicle requirements without resorting to timed or permanent street closures;
  4. Adopt appropriate historic forms and sustainable materials to the public footways and carriageways to maintain the cohesive identity of Seven Dials and the adjacent Covent Garden Conservation Area and to assist with cycling and walking;
  5. Use the historic Seven Dials device, based upon the symbol of the St. Giles in the Fields Parish, for all street furniture, street name plates and People’s and Street History Plaques so as to integrate them and create interest in, and illuminate the area’s history;
  6. Ensure that footway widening facilitates pedestrian movement;
  7. Maintain the Sundial Pillar, which is under the Seven Dials Trust’s ownership;
  8. Encourage freeholders, leaseholders, and retailers to enhance the area’s buildings and in particular the core Seven Dials area’s many historic shopfronts;
  9. Ensure that the ‘Seven Dials Guidelines ‘ set out in Camden’s Conservation Area Statement are adhered to;
  10. Reduce both carbon emissions and energy use through LED lighting and traffic reduction;
  11. Encourage developments to be carbon neutral and based upon refurbishment and not new-build wherever possible;
  12. Encourage the use of sustainable timber materials for shopfronts;
  13. Encourage greening and bio-diversity in forms suitable for both conservation areas, principally tree clusters and the historic use of wide shopfront entablatures for planting boxes;
  14. Encourage the development of consolidation of freight and rubbish collections.