The owners of Anglia Square have insisted the site still has "significant potential", despite the plug being pulled on a £300m revamp of the shopping centre.

Weston Homes had secured planning permission to transform the 1960s built centre, with new shops, offices and up to 1,100 homes, only to dramatically announce this week that it was scrapping the scheme.

The Norwich shopping centre was bought by asset management company Columbia Threadneedle for £7.5m in 2014, but the collapse of the Weston Homes plan has led to questions about what will now happen to the 11.4-acre site.

There has been speculation over whether another company will step in to seek to redevelop it, or whether the site could be sold.

Eastern Daily Press: Anglia Square in NorwichAnglia Square in Norwich (Image: Archant Norfolk 2018)

A spokesman for Columbia Threadneedle said: "Columbia Threadneedle Real Estate has been informed by Weston Homes that it has made the decision to withdraw from the redevelopment of Anglia Square.

"Anglia Square has significant potential as a retail and residential location within Norwich and we are working with all stakeholders to find a solution."

Eastern Daily Press: Anglia Square in NorwichAnglia Square in Norwich (Image: Archant)

In its announcement that it was scrapping the scheme, described as a "terrible blow" by Norwich City Council leader Mike Stonard, Weston Homes cited seven reasons for the decision to back out.

They said the scheme, which the Essex-based company had spent £7.5m on, was not financially viable and hit out at the Conservative government.

The company said the Covid pandemic, with more people working from home, meant offices and retail units were no longer in such demand.

Weston Homes also said new design guidelines meant the number of homes that could be built on the site would be reduced.

A previous plan, which would have seen homes built in a 20-storey tower, was blocked by local government secretary Robert Jenrick.

Eastern Daily Press: Robert JenrickRobert Jenrick

Weston Homes said the subsequent delay in getting a revised scheme through had added to costs, amid rising inflation.

If a new developer does show an interest, the ageing buildings on the site, including the long-empty Sovereign House - the headquarters of Her Majesty's Stationery Office between 1968 and 1996 - will be costly to demolish.

Eastern Daily Press: Sovereign House at Anglia SquareSovereign House at Anglia Square (Image: Denise Bradley)

The development had been allocated £15m from Homes England's Housing Infrastructure Fund, designed to get work done on difficult sites, but the delays in securing planning meant only £7m would have been awarded.