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Reader Letter: Does Norwich have to accept second rate again?

PUBLISHED: 16:31 18 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:31 18 February 2018

Anglia Square, Norwich.
Photo by Simon Finlay.

Anglia Square, Norwich. Photo by Simon Finlay.

This paper’s leader from February 10 laments the 20 year wait for something to happen to the Anglia Square area. I am sure we would all agree.

It was a mistake and a horror from day one, cut off from the rest of the city by the biggest mistake of all, the alignment of the inner city ring road, which sliced through the north of the medieval city instead of skirting round the outside circuit of the city walls.

But the article also implies that anything is better than nothing, as long as something is done.

Is Norwich to accept the inappropriate and the second rate yet again? It seems that it is.

The chief executive of developers, Weston Homes, pledges that it will happen.

It is the scale of the project which is so inappropriate. Blocks up to 14 stories high, not only architecturally repetitive but huge in bulk. They will present a looming alien presence in what is still a low scale city, punctuated by its towers and spires.

This is the perfect development for London’s Docklands. In fact, it looks as if it is lifted from there.

It is an “anywhere” architecture, devoid of any sympathy or understanding of its location, achingly out of place in Norwich.

As for the 25-storey tower block, this is there are a sheer money grabbing exercise. Any developer worth his salt, will add a good 10 storeys more than necessary to make a profit on to any tower, knowing that they can be knocked off as a magnanimous sop to any protestors.

The aberration of the vast bulk of a 250 foot high tower speaks for itself.

Anglia Square certainly needs redevelopment, but the thinking behind its scheme appears to have come from the 1980s.

Have we learnt nothing from the mistakes of the past?

It would seem not.

The developers claim their scheme will compliment rather than compete with the city centre. Which city centre were they looking at? Salford?

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