By News Reporters
The owners of the former Middlesex Hospital site could be told to think again about what to name the new street through the development which is due to be completed in September 2014.
The consortium of Exemplar, Aviva Investments and Kaupthing have applied to call the walkway Fitzroy Place — the name they are currently marketing the development as — but the emergency services and the Postal Authority have said this name is “unacceptable” as a street name as it could be confused with similar streets and buildings nearby.
The owners say that the name Fitzroy Place accords with Fitzrovia, it provides a sense of stature and heritage and it is sympathetic to the area and to local residents. It is a “nod” to Fitzrovia’s famous Fitzroy Square, and importantly it is culturally and linguistically acceptable in all target markets. Overall, it was felt the name was strong enough to warrant a name referencing the area of Fitzrovia.
However, Westminster Council have reported: “The emergency services and Postal Authority have been consulted for their views on the suitability of the proposed name ‘Fitzroy Place’ and deemed the name to be unacceptable insofar as the prefix ‘Fitzroy’ is used in the boroughs of Westminster and Camden in the naming of streets and a building.”
Westminster Council are now holding a public consultation and are asking residents for their views on the name Fitzroy Place and to even suggest alternative street names. But it will be up to the owners of the site to put forward a name for the pedestrian walkway, a name that must meet criteria laid down by the council.
Westminster Council say that “new street names should demonstrate clear historical links to the area in which the street is situated, easy to pronounce and not duplicated elsewhere in the borough”.
The debate of the name harks back to the time the Candy brothers proposed calling the development Noho Square. This drew anger and derision from local people, but it was the financial crisis that eventually shelved that proposal.
Local people and former staff at the Middlesex Hospital will now say “we told you so” as many wanted a name that reflected the history of the site. The Middlesex Hospital which once stood there was well-loved and many people feel a name which respects that would be more suitable. Fitzroy Place is “unimaginative” said one commentator and others agreed.
Suggestions for a street name have included: Middlesex Place (after the Middlesex Hospital), Nightingale Place (after Florence Nightingale who worked as a nurse in the hospital), and Equiano Square (after Olaudah Equiano the anti-slavery campaigner).
Westminster City Council will receive comments up until 7 May 2013.
Comments can be sent to Ray Gangadeen by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please put Fitzroy Place in the subject line, and say you wish to comment on the proposed name for the new street.
I am a Middlesex medical graduate and think it very sad that the hospital we all worked in will not be honoured or remembered through the naming of at least one of the streets with Middlesex as part of the name. I also think the community we served were very loyal to the Middlesex and they would feel there should be some memory of a hospital that cared for them on that site.
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