‘Twist’ homes may be more expensive
Planning application goes in for Cleveland Street workhouse
Sunday, 4th July 2021 — By Harry Taylor
The site in Cleveland Street
UCLH Charity has formally submitted an application to reduce the amount of affordable housing in the redevelopment of a former workhouse.
Last week the New Journal revealed that the charitable arm of the hospital in Euston Road was in talks with the Town Hall over the plans for the former Middlesex Hospital Annex, also known as the Cleveland Street Workhouse in Fitzrovia.
It is said to have inspired Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens’ story of childhood poverty in 19th-century London.
Documents submitted to the council said a ”financial viability assessment report” by firm SQW had shown it needed to cut the amount of affordable housing in the scheme to make it cost-effective.
According to planning documents, it was told no affordable housing is financially viable, but UCLH Charity is instead offering 17 homes out of the overall 57 units, down from 40. It had previously guaranteed a minimum of 30. The London Plan says that a minimum 35 per cent of major residential developments should be affordable housing.
The tweaked plans by UCLH Charity only provides 26 per cent.
Dickens’ great-great-great granddaughter Lucinda Dickens Hawksley said the changes were “sickening” amid a housing crisis. She added: “Housing is a basic human need as well as a basic human right.”