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Norwich’s Anglia Square could be demolished as revamp plans, including more than 1,000 new homes, are revealed

PUBLISHED: 11:57 02 November 2016 | UPDATED: 08:38 03 November 2016

The design for the new homes in Anglia Square

The design for the new homes in Anglia Square

Archant

Ambitious proposals to revamp Anglia Square, including demolishing the current shopping complex and building more than a thousand homes above new shops and restaurants, can be revealed today.

Anglia Square Norwich Nov 1993Anglia Square Norwich Nov 1993

The owners of the shopping centre have been holding talks with chief officers at City Hall about new plans for a comprehensive redevelopment of the complex.

And they have now submitted a masterplan to the council for what could happen there.

Their “emerging proposals” include:

The demolition of the current Anglia Square, the former stationery office Sovereign House and Gildengate House

More than a thousand homes, to be built above new shop units and a new public square

Anglia Square Norwich Dec 1989Anglia Square Norwich Dec 1989

A new multi-storey car park

The replacement of the existing cinema with a new one at ground level

Better links across the site, to open up entry to the complex from other directions

The developers - Columbia Threadneedle and Weston Homes - acknowledge redeveloping a site of such scale will take a number of years and will need to happen in several phases.

In their masterplan they state: “The provision of an enhanced retail offer will reinforce Anglia Square’s role as a large district centre and ensure it continues to serve the needs of local residents.

To see more photographs of Anglia Square over the years visit Norwich Remembers Facebook group

This retail role will seek to build upon the existing function of Anglia Square rather than replicating the primary retail functions and fashion-led shopping centres of Castle Mall and intu Chapelfield.”

They say the new homes would “create a new sustainable community within this centrally located site”.

And they said: “The provision of a new public square and an enhanced leisure function for Anglia Square will increase the vibrancy of the area and ensure the new quarter becomes a destination in its own right.”

Along with hopes that new restaurants, bars and shops would be attracted to the new-look square, one of the proposals is to demolish the cinema and replace it with a new one.

Trevor Wicks, who runs the Hollywood Cinema, said: “We clearly would like to stay in Anglia Square. We would welcome the opportunity to move into a new one here and that is an option which has been put to us. We will wait and see what the future holds.”

Before anything can happen, a planning application will need to be lodged with Norwich City Council. The council is expecting that to happen next spring.

Bert Bremner, the city council’s cabinet member for environment and sustainable development, said: “This could be another big boost for the city. I am so thrilled that there’s a possibility that something could happen there.

“The whole area could be on the up. We are talking about a thousand new homes, so that’s at least 2,000 people living right there. It will create a new community.

“We have had three or four occasions in the past when things were put forward and it never happened. We have had hopes before and they have been dashed. This might take 12 years, but personally, I think it’s something really positive.”

Bob Weston, chairman and founder of Weston Homes said: “Weston Homes is delighted to be working with Columbia Threadneedle and Norwich City Council on a new masterplan for Anglia Square

“Together, over the next months we will be presenting our proposals as they emerge to local residents and key stakeholders though local consultations.

“This will assist our discussions with the council, in order to finalise the masterplan, and a specific scheme for a planning application.

“We look forward to sharing our vision and delivering a new community to Norwich.”

What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

43 comments

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Friday, November 4, 2016

  • An excellent idea. I just hope that any housing and new shops and premises become available at sensible prices - perhaps on a covenant scheme to ensure that they remain viable and fully occupied. This seems to be one problem in the UK for retail units - force rents up and increase them every year and then wonder why businesses fail and the units remain become empty for years and the whole new build goes down the drain. A nice bus station under the development, well ventilated of course would be useful as would proper other vehicle access and parking. Perhaps the developers need to look at some of the most recent developments in Vancouver BC to see how these things can be integrated and be made to look very swish and attractive.

    Report this comment

    manbythesea

    Thursday, November 3, 2016

  • Sounds like a fantastic plan, close virtually every access route for vehicles through some ill found perception that those of us who live in the city do not need our ability to travel to and from school and work. Now let's add another 1000 houses and see what happens. From the 1990s we have the legacy of bus lanes that now have the highest polluting vehicles in the city running along them, as well as having caused massive pollution through the additional idling traffic that sits waiting in the traffic queues beside empty bus lanes. Now we have the madness of additional road closures and pedestrianised routes that will again cause further traffic jams and frustration for us residents of the city. Absolute madness from poorly educated green maniacs with no long term vision.

    Report this comment

    Steven Ford

    Thursday, November 3, 2016

  • I hope it gets demolished. Its embarrassing. I like some of the cheaper shops and hope they stay, but tend not to go there as the whole experience is so depressing . Its a freak show. The rejects and the dregs of society all congregate there , its grey and drab and uninspiring.I've heard of a lot of people say they love it as you can have a good laugh at people. I just feel sorry for them .As for the EU immigrants I was like you i used to stick up for them and was pro immigration until I saw first hand someone , (a lovely lady to be fair, but thats beside the point) jump the housing queue have babies get benefits then invite the family over to do the same . I would never have believed it, but I'm afraid its true. Not saying they all do this but it certainly happens more times than not and needs to stop now.

    Report this comment

    GIPSOM_FANTASTIC

    Thursday, November 3, 2016

  • I do not think it is just about Anglia Square itself.The whole area in this day is a slum area .Millions are being spent on new housing when the Northern bypass is finished,so we must not forget the slum areas like Esdelle street,Magpie Road .Magdelan Street ,Marlborough Road.Beaconsfield Road Knowsley Road Stracy Road and all the surrounding adjoining roads ,The back ways and alley ways are a disgrace for our children to pass everyday .We must not forget the inner city and just let it crumble.I am commenting on the area not the lovely people who live in these areas Although of late we are getting quite a lot of unwanted so called guests .

    Report this comment

    L-F-G

    Thursday, November 3, 2016

  • It's a less than shining example that reminds you that indeed a turd can not be polished, by British or any other hands! It's time to knock it down like it's cousin the Berlin Wall and move forward as the era in which it was built and it's purpose has long since passed.

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Thursday, November 3, 2016

  • All of Anglia Square ,Magdelan Street and all the slum areas around Magpie Road Esdelle Street , ,Stracy Road ,Malborogh Road ,Beaconsfield Road Knowsley Road Bull close and all the surrounding areas shoukd all be knocked down and replaced with decent housing and better shops.Millions of pounds are being spent on new housing once the Northern bypass has finished.What about the inner city like the areas I have mentioned.The streets and back ways are not fit for children to have to pass everyday. With more and more migrants our so called friends from abroad multiplying weekly what ever will become of cities like Norwich - God help our children when in a few years time that there will be more of them then us .

    Report this comment

    L-F-G

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Where will they film the post-apocalyptic zombie films then?

    Report this comment

    Jonno65

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • @mrqcumbers .... you are an ignorant pathetic fool.... I have worked for the last nine years close by to Anglua square and use it most lunchtimes. I can assure you that 99 % of the freeloaders I see on a daily basis there and for that matter in most English towns and cities are British...I can guess by your post the kind of person you and other like you are, Sad lonely little nobodies who have probably not stepped foot outside the county and are bitter and twisted at their own wasted opportunities and looking for others to blame for them... get a life you bigot.

    Report this comment

    Velvetfish

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • I think I'd rather send McQ back to where he came from! That would be far better for all.

    Report this comment

    Normal4Norfolk

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Key word in the headline being "could' We see a similar story ever other year about Anglia Square, don't we ?

    Report this comment

    JB

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Candy is right, this is one area which does not need gentrification. It is great as it is. Just look at the fantastic shadows created on a sunny day from the glass canopy. The Stationery Building does have a certain charm and could be converted into apartments. It is a vibrant community and I am happy to pass the time of day on a bench there any time. Just look beyond what is in front of you - life.

    Report this comment

    tree lover

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • I hear that Bert Bremner is thrilled. That's it then, all is not lost as Bremner is thrilled. Anglia square is a favourite area of the city and the rich diversity and beauty in its character must not get lost. Again, it's riff raff out - Where's the council housing, affordable shops, and our cultural community. We don't want Bremner's thrilling aspirations down here!

    Report this comment

    candy

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • There's no mention of schools for the 1,500 or so children we can expect 1,000 homes to accommodate, neither new primary healthcare facilities nor the demand on the already overstretched Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Work those into the planning conditions and watch the develpers slink away.

    Report this comment

    Father Brian

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Stop being so pessimistic you lot Comrade Bert has given his experience and approval. That is all that matters so the funding will be borrowed from whom is anybodies.So rejoice for this is the word,and all things will come to pass.Love the picture plan incorporating a totally new idea a coffee shop.

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • I live a few minutes walk from Anglia Square and shop there now and again. It's like visiting an old friend who has been abandoned and neglected and now needs professional help. I'll consider any scheme on its merits, but we need to know more. Given the long history of aborted projects, the main question is: will it ever happen?

    Report this comment

    urban seagull

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Put a butcher shop in there & give it that POOR butcher whos lost every thing ....NOT.

    Report this comment

    molly

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Lux apartments or social housing ,given to wot country .LAFF LAFF LAFF.its s fxxxx joke.

    Report this comment

    molly

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • if it gets built, and any other new development, all car parking should be put underground.

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • I hope the planners give due consideration to the primary health care needs of many 1,000s of people from the central,north and north east of the city who are currently served by the Gurney Court Surgery which will presumably need to relocate.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Anglia Square was doomed before a brick was laid. It never went beyond phase one and has suffered ever since. The whole place needs flattening with an imaginative development that is different and progressive. Will it happen? Don't hold your breath.

    Report this comment

    komakino

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • We often use Anglia Square. It has to be one of the friendliest places to shop in the city. Yes a large percentage of the unloved seem to gather down there & yes the square it's self is falling to pieces & resembles a post apocalyptic city in many respects. But the square is a survivor. It must have survived at least a dozen attempts to improve it already & it looks like the Bakers Dozen is here.

    Report this comment

    el84

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Leave it as it is. Yes it is a dump but it is a dump Norwich can be proud of.

    Report this comment

    rob

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Looks like the Arc in Bury St Edmunds. Just about anything would be an improvement on the current offering and would work. It's insulting to the current visitors to think they wouldn't welcome an improved shopping experience.

    Report this comment

    Adam Cruickshank

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • It will never happen. Like some of the commenters here that will never grow up and stop blaming others for their own failings in life.

    Report this comment

    Resident Smith

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Why is it that when I walk across Anglia Square I just cannot prevent the Cantina scene from Star Wars from rattling around inside my skull. https:www.youtube.comwatch?v=g6PDcBhODqo

    Report this comment

    Gareth Lewis

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • For a moment I thought it was a April Fools

    Report this comment

    Goose186

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • All the thickets on here auditioning for the new series of The League of Gentlemen will be laughing on the other side of their faces, when the Eastern Europeans they so loathe are replaced by an unaffordable sterile gentrified monolith that will be "New Anglia Square". I don't suppose any of you ever made it out of the county, or you'd know what happened to London in the name of progress. You're all cheering for the hipsterisation of one of the last working class communities of Norwich. Guess you'll only have Great Yarmouth to turn to then. Lucky you...

    Report this comment

    Jack Brindelli

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Anglia square's managers have tried to develop the land, with umpteenth plans, behind HMSO for over 30 years, only to be batted off by City Halls planners, who were never 'excited about Anglia squares prospects'. This will mean the gentrification of that part of Norwich, with apartments for sale and house prices very likely to rise north of Magpie road. To take that long to complete the work is ludicrous, but I suppose this is estimated by British working standards. If this is not permanently hurting the businesses along Magdalen street the whole building effort and transport will have to leave to the north via Aylsham Rd. and via the inner ring road. I do not envy people living in the area as it will be permanently. disrupted

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • All that Communist style concrete architecture certainly has made a home from home for all the comrades from the east over the last decade.

    Report this comment

    NigelS

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • How many people make the effort to visit our county's market towns? I am not talking about Holt here. Anglia Square should be to Norwich what the Market Place is to Swaffham or East Dereham. Yes it is in competition with Pottergate and St Benedicts but there we go, in my opinion these places are destinations for the communities that surround them and if the community has not been gentrified then gentrification will not work in Anglia Square or Magdalen Street. Yes, I would like to see some businesses leave to make room for new ones but if I am in the minority, which I probably am, then put me back in my box. I will continue to shop in the area as it is.

    Report this comment

    George Ezekial

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Yeah, yeah, yeah - heard it all before. Millions spent on re-routing the roads but nothing ever gets built. Anyway, where are all the cheap shops going to go if this ever gets off the ground?

    Report this comment

    Badabing

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Let's hope that this proposal actually happens as the existing site looks a real mess, especially the old Stationary Office building. I can see that it would take a long time to complete to avoid complete demolition of the existing buildings which would cause people to shop elsewhere and not return but it needs Norwich City council to give it full support when the planning application is submitted.

    Report this comment

    bigchair

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Well said Bertie Cooper. I don't believe for one minute that anything as ambitious as this will ever take place.

    Report this comment

    Edith

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • heard it all before, i'll believe it when i see it.

    Report this comment

    ted

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • And would these "1000 new homes" be mainly luxury apartments by any chance?

    Report this comment

    marty r

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • How many redevelopment plans have there been for Anglia Square? Ten? What makes them think this one will go ahead? Every now and again someone comes up with a grand master plan, only for it to slip quietly into obscurity.

    Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • We need houses in the City Centre.So many were demolished for the Flyover and the Inner Link Road.with people relocating to dormitory towns,requiring the use of motor vehicles to visit central Norwich

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • I love Anglia square. It's just needs a freshen up not demolishing. As someone else said it's full of "proper Norwich" characters. I love to see toddlers feeding the pigeons when I sit down for 5 minutes an de nearly always someone will have a chat for a few minutes. It's here that you will hear the rich Norwich accent not this Estuary English.

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • I love the square its working class Norwich.. Yes its an eyesore but its our eyesore... The characters that you meet and see, so develop it and price people out?... Magdalen St and Anglia sq go well as a great little vibrant community and shopping area... Leave it alone :)

    Report this comment

    nr3

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Of course it would need some quality shops to make it worthwhile.Or a Tesco.Not gonna happen this century...

    Report this comment

    bittern_twisted

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • So he wants to "finalise the masterplan", does he? Sounds a bit Orwellian to me. Never mind all you good folk who seem to like it just the way it is - it won't happen in a million years, let alone 12. And as the City Council are involved, best make that two million years.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • Great idea! But 12 years to complete it? 12 years? This is a laughable timescale in a so-called 'developed' nation.

    Report this comment

    Mr. Grouchy

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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