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Cleveland Street, London
A view of Cleveland Street looking south from the intersection with Greenwell Street (previously Buckingham Street), featuring the BT Tower
Cleveland Street as seen on Greenwood's map of the area in the late 1820s
Area before Cleveland Street (Norfolk St) was laid out in 1774
Cleveland Street Work House London
Cleveland Street Conservation Area
Cleveland Street marks the border between the City of Westminster to its west and the London Borough of Camden to the east. This border is ancient, largely following the old divide between the western parish of Saint Marylebone and the parish of Saint Pancras to the east and can be traced back as far as 1792. The street was also a boundary between large estates, such as the Bedford Estate and the Berners Estate. Maps show that the southern end of modern Cleveland Street, beyond Riding House Street, was known as Upper Newman Street and then Norfolk Street. The northern section was once known as Upper Cleveland Street and Buckingham Place.
It became Cleveland Street for its full length after a renumbering was ordered by the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1867.
In his book Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution, Stephen Knight mentions Cleveland Street in conjunction with two houses in the street. According to Knight's theory, the royal family was connected with the Jack The Ripper murders from 1888, via the same Prince Albert Victor who he claims met his later wife, Catholic prostitute Annie Elizabeth Crook, at the studio of the painter Walter Sickert at 15 Cleveland Street. After their secret wedding, Annie Elizabeth Crook was allegedly settled in a flat at 6 Cleveland Street. The conspiracy theory behind the murders described in Knight's book has been loosely adapted into From Hell (1999), a graphic novel by Alan Moore from which a movie with the same title was adapted in 2001. Several scenes in the movie take place in Cleveland Street, although they were not shot on location.
The frontage building of the former Cleveland Street workhouse later Middlesex Hospital annexe and outpatient department on the eastern side of the street at 44  c.1776. Over the years from 1778 until 2005 the building operated as a workhouse then a workhouse infirmary and more recently as a hospital. UCLH NHS Foundation Trust in 2010 proposed the building's demolition in a planning application (and conservation area consent) submitted to Camden London Borough Council to replace it with a large building mixing private accommodation with commercial space. However adjoining Westminster City Council objected on three grounds on 2 December 2010.
The Cleveland Street Workhouse is of particular importance in light of the fact that Charles Dickens is known to have lived nearby in what is now 22 Cleveland Street. Dickens lived there as a young child between 1815-1816 and then again as a teenager between 1828-1831. His residence in the street has led to the suggestion that the nearby workhouse was probably the inspiration for Oliver Twist.
Cleveland Street hosted the Middlesex Hospital, closed in 2005 and since demolished. The hospital occupied an entire block on the western side of the southern section of the street. The future of this site is currently uncertain, despite its sale by nationalised Icelandic Kaupthing Bank to Aviva Investors and Exemplar Properties.
Cleveland Street was described as an area of special architectural and historic interest when it was designated a Conservation Area on 20 November 1990. Anomalously on its Camden side Cleveland Street is part of two conservation areas: the Fitzroy Square conservation area, and the Charlotte Street conservation area. This double designation is rare and possibly unique.
^Westminster City Council, Decision document[permanent dead link]
1. The City Council considers that the existing building is a heritage asset which makes a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the area. The proposed development would not preserve or enhance this character and appearance. The City Council considers that retention and refurbishment of all or a substantial part of the existing building should be pursued.
2. The proposals provide insufficient on-street car parking facilities for the development, particularly for the private housing market which would generate significant car parking demand. This would increase the pressure for car parking on surrounding streets to the detriment of highway safety and convenience.
3. The submitted Daylight, Sunlight and Shadow study shows that the proposed development would result in unacceptable losses of daylight for some of the residential properties on Cleveland Street which face the application site. This would be materially harmful to the local residential environment and lead to an unacceptable reduction in the quality of residential amenity.