‘Go back to the drawing board’ - Campaigners welcome to Anglia Square refusal
Campaigners have welcomed the refusal of a £271m redevelopment of Anglia Square.
Local government secretary Robert Jenrick rejected the recommendations of the planning inspectorate saying the proposed 20-storey tower was of “excessive size in relation to its context”.
His comments have been welcomed by campaigners from the Green Party, Norwich Cycling Campaign and SAVE Britain’s Heritage.
More: Anglia Square’s £271m revamp cannot go ahead, says secretary of stateGreen party councillors Martin Schmierer and Jamie Osborn, who represent Mancroft ward, where Anglia Square is, said they recognised the site needed to be redeveloped but in a way that was “appropriate”.
Councillor Schmierer said: “This is now an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and create a scheme that respects the heritage of the city of Norwich, supports the local economy and works for the community.
“The proposals, if they had been built, would have simply resulted in another eyesore. It’s a real shame that Norwich City Council pursued this project and wasted so much taxpayers’ money, given the strength of opposition from so many groups and institutions as well as the local community.”
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Mr Osborn added the outcome was “brilliant news” and a testament to local campaigners who fought hard for the result.
He said: “The secretary of state has recognised that a colossal 20-storey tower in the heart of our city centre would have been totally inappropriate for the needs of the area and would have done irreparable damage to Norwich’s heritage.”
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Fellow Green party member Denise Carlo said had the housing secretary approved the development “no historic site in the country would have been safe from developers”.
Henrietta Billings, on behalf of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, added: “From the outset, SAVE asserted that if built, the high-density, high-rise blocks and 20-storey tower proposed would have a deeply harmful effect on the character of this magnificent medieval city. This decision provides a huge opportunity for a more enlightened development approach to now come forward.”
Norwich Cycling Campaign’s Tony Clarke led a crowdfunding campaign to pay for a witness to attend the inquiry.
He said: “We’re extremely grateful the secretary of state has seen the way to not allow this.
“The city’s elective officers and the council they must really consider their position.
“We have a small victory, I do not think we should be celebrating it’s a waste of public money at the end of the day... It’s little people fighting tooth and nail.
Everybody should think on how we got to this situation.”