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Fears that 25-storey tower block would ‘interfere’ with Norwich’s medieval skyline

PUBLISHED: 19:28 29 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:59 30 March 2018

A CGI image showing what Anglia Square could look like at night. Picture: Weston Homes

A CGI image showing what Anglia Square could look like at night. Picture: Weston Homes

Weston Homes

There are fears that a new 25-storey tower block proposed for Norwich would “interfere” with the city’s medieval skyline.

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

Housebuilder Weston Homes, along with landowner Columbia Threadneedle, are hoping to build the residential tower in Anglia Square.

It is part of a larger scheme to redevelop the site consisting of up to 1,250 new homes, dozens of shops and pedestrianised areas.

Plans submitted to Norwich City Council this month describe the tower as a “marker building”, which will indicate Anglia Square’s location from afar.

But members of the Norwich Society, which acts as a watchdog on conservation and planning issues, claim it is too high.

How Anglia Square could look once the redevelopment is complete. Photo: Weston HomesHow Anglia Square could look once the redevelopment is complete. Photo: Weston Homes

The group’s chairman, Vanessa Trevelyan, said: “I think in Norwich we have been very good at introducing contemporary landmark buildings that don’t interfere with Norwich’s very attractive medieval skyline.

“But something that is so out of scale from its surrounding area would bring seismic change to the character of Norwich.

“The scale of the proposed building is too tall.”

Planning documents for the scheme state there is no obvious landmark in the Anglia Square area of the city.

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

It said the tower has been designed as a “strong visual counterpoint” to Norwich’s historic landmarks, such as the cathedral.

The document states: “The development proposals are not considered to undermine the cathedral’s dominance or any of the fundamental aspects of its visual and historic relationship with the city.”

A spokesman for Weston Homes said the financial viability of Anglia Square’s redevelopment “rests with the scheme in its entirety.”

Meanwhile, Paul Burall, vice-chair of the Norwich Society, said the tower could set a precedent for future development.

“We don’t want something built that in 10 years time people say ‘how did we end up with that there?’,” Mr Burall added.

“Anglia Square is not the place for something that is almost as high as the cathedral, and we are worried it could set a precedent.

“Norwich is not a high-rise city at all.”

A food store, 200-bed hotel, 600-space multi-storey car park and roof-level bar and restaurant are all included in the overall Anglia Square redevelopment plans.


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