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Anglia Square revamp proposals widely criticised at public meeting

PUBLISHED: 20:50 25 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:23 26 April 2018

Proposals to revamp Norwich’s Anglia Square were widely criticised at a public meeting about the controversial scheme. Photo: Luke Powell

Proposals to revamp Norwich’s Anglia Square were widely criticised at a public meeting about the controversial scheme. Photo: Luke Powell

Archant

Proposals to revamp Norwich’s Anglia Square have been widely criticised at a public meeting about the scheme.

Photo essay - Anglia Square.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYPhoto essay - Anglia Square. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

More than 120 people turned up to Epic Studios on Magdalen Street to voice their concerns on Wednesday evening.

It comes as Housebuilder Weston Homes, along with landowner Columbia Threadneedle, lodged plans for the revamp with Norwich City Council in March.

The scheme would include up to 1,250 new homes, a 25-storey tower, dozens of shops, a 200-bed hotel, 600-space car park and pedestrianised areas.

But people from across the local community raised concerns about the scale, design and the type of accommodation being proposed.

Photo essay - Anglia Square.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYPhoto essay - Anglia Square. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The meeting was hosted by the Norwich Society and the Cathedral Magdalen and St Augustine’s Neighbourhood Forum to gather views from the public.

Jon Boon, chairman of the Norwich Society’s planning appraisal committee, said he welcomed an opportunity to redevelop Anglia Square.

But he added: “I don’t think we should go along with the view that anything is better than what is there now.”

Mr Boon said the Norwich Society had “serious concerns” about the scale of the proposals, which he likened to a miniature Canary Wharf.

He also questioned whether Norwich needed more than 1,200 new flats, when so many were already being built in the city.

Resident James Brown added: “We are facing a situation where a lot of the properties coming up will appeal to investors.

“A lot of buy-to-let investors are going to purchase these and rent them out.”

At one point the audience was asked to raise their hands if they supported Anglia Square’s redevelopment, which the majority did.

No one appeared to raise their hand when asked if they supported the existing proposals.

One local resident claimed the design of proposed scheme was “boring”, adding there was nothing “innovative” about it.

The developers have said the proposals are the result of two years of extensive discussion with the city council and that the regeneration would transform the area and enhance the local community.

It will ultimately fall to members of City Hall’s planning committee to decide whether to grant permission.

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