Anglia Square a ‘dismal experience’ says architect behind £271m revamp
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020
The architect behind the controversial £271m revamp of Anglia Square has branded it a 'dismal experience' to visit the shopping centre in its current 'broken' state.
Peter Vaughan, from London-based Broadway Malyan, designed the Norwich shopping centre redevelopment scheme, which is the focus of a planning inquiry.
The scheme includes more than 1,200 new homes, including in a 20-storey tower, along with a hotel, cinema, car parks and new shops.
Mr Vaughan told the inquiry the approach to Anglia Square, under the flyover on Magdalen Street, was "about as poor an approach to a shopping centre as you can think of."
He said the entrance to the square from Magdalen Street was "horribly aggressive" and more like "some kind of hostile watchtower".
He said entering the square was "a pretty dismal experience" and it was "a broken piece of Norwich".
You may also want to watch:
He said: "One needs to be careful about how one talks about Anglia Square. It's easy to talk about regeneration and transformation, but there are local people for whom this is a phenomenal offer. It works for them both socially and financially."
But he added: "I genuinely believe people deserve better than what is on offer here and better is available to them."
- 1 Air ambulance called and A47 closed after incident
- 2 Major Lowestoft road partially closed due to police incident
- 3 Why this Norfolk village is one of the best in the UK
- 4 Pedestrian suffers life-threatening injuries in A47 crash
- 5 Man airlifted to hospital with serious head injuries after fight near pub
- 6 Market traders 'devastated' over council plans to revoke licences
- 7 Shed set alight, 16 broken into and pumpkins destroyed at allotments
- 8 Hamleys toy shop opens in Norwich shopping centre
- 9 A47 set for two weeks of roadworks from Monday
- 10 Seven fire engines called to blaze on housing estate
He said his scheme would create better links to the rest of the city and its scale, including the tower, was necessary to make it deliverable.
He was cross-examined by lawyers for national heritage organisation Historic England over the design choices, but defended his architectural decisions.
The plans were agreed by Norwich City Council in 2018. But the planning inquiry was triggered after Historic England asked for a government call-in.
They had objected due to the massing and height of the revamp - and its impact on the historic city skyscape, including Norwich Cathedral.
Other critics include SAVE Britain's Heritage, the Norwich Society and Norwich Cycling Campaign.
After planning inspector Dave Prentis has heard evidence at the inquiry, which continues until the end of the month, he will come up with a recommendation for the secretary of state, who has the final decision.