Community looks to have its say over Anglia Square revamp
- Credit: Weston Homes and Columbia Thread
Controversial proposals for the future of Anglia Square – and what the community nearby want to see happen there – will come under the spotlight this weekend.
Developers Weston Homes and Columbia Threadneedle last year revealed how they plan to revamp the shopping centre, with up to 1,350 homes built above new shop units and a new public square.
The current Anglia Square would be demolished, with a new multi-storey car park, a new cinema and, one of the most contentious ideas – a 25-storey tower block.
While a formal planning application has yet to be lodged, details of the proposals emerged when the developers asked Norwich City Council if an environmental impact assessment was needed ahead of that submission.
They went back to the council just before Christmas with a few changes, including an increase in parking spaces from 800 to 1,000.
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But the community who live near Anglia Square want to have more input into the changes for the shopping centre and surrounding areas.
And this weekend, the Norfolk Association of Architects will be working with the St Augustine's Community Together Residents' Association, the Cathedral, Magdalen and St Augustine's Neighbourhood Forum Steering Group and civic watchdog the Norwich Society to help them do that.
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The architects will help the community to illustrate their issues, concerns and aspirations for the area, through drawings and diagrams.
The free drop in workshop will run in St Augustine's Church Hall from 11am until 1.45pm tomorrow, with the findings presented between 1.45pm and 2.30pm at a feedback session, for which places must be booked via https://tinyurl.com/y9b5zfgt
There is also an event tonight where the issues will be discussed, although that is now sold out.
Stuart McLaren, secretary of St Augustine's Community Together Residents 'Association, said the event would help guage an idea of what people in the area want.
He said: 'I don't think anyone is against development, but we are a bit worried that the plans that we have seen so far have leant rather heavily towards residential, with a tower block of up to 25ft.
'We could be talking about more than 2,000 people, which would double the population in this area.'
Norwich Over The Water group's views
A group which has long campaigned to fight for the area near Anglia Square has tabled a string of concerns - and ideas - around the development.
The Norwich Over The Water group is worried that there will not be enough car parking when the complex is redeveloped - and wants to see an underground car park created.
Paul Scruton, from the group, said traders have already seen a decline in trade since the multi-storey car park closed.
He fears the 1,000 parking spaces proposed will be swallowed up by people living in the flats, leaving few places for shoppers.
On the 25ft tower, Mr Scruton said: 'Why can't we have something with imagination, like the Shard, with a restaurant at the top, with views over the city and a glass elevator?'
And the group has also proposed a building which would incorporate the new cinema with an opera theatre and a cabaret club.