Anglia Square objectors urge critics to write to government and MPs

Plans for a 20-storey tower in Anglia Sqaure. Photo: Weston Homes

Plans for a 20-storey tower in Anglia Sqaure. Photo: Weston Homes - Credit: Weston Homes

One of the national organisations opposing the £271m revamp of Norwich’s Anglia Square is urging objectors to press the government to block the controversial scheme.

SAVE Britain’s Heritage, which spoke out against the proposals at the public inquiry into the proposals in January and February, says those who do not want it to happen should make that clear to local government secretary Robert Jenrick.

The ultimate decision on whether the scheme goes ahead will rest in his hands, after he reads a recommendation he will be presented with by the Planning Inspectorate.

Inspector David Prentis is writing up his report into matters around the revamp, following a public inquiry – and it will be submitted to the government on or before June 17.

But SAVE Britain’s Heritage, which has just published a report called Cathedral Cities Don’t Need Tower Blocks reiterating its opposition, is urging those against the scheme to write to the government and MPs asking for rejection.

Henrietta Billings, from SAVE Britain's Heritage. Pic: SAVE Britain's Heritage.

Henrietta Billings, from SAVE Britain's Heritage. Pic: SAVE Britain's Heritage. - Credit: SAVE Britain's Heritage

Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage says: “This report highlights the key issues at stake over the rebuilding this significant and highly sensitive site in the medieval city. From the 20-storey tower and public subsidy, to enlightened alternative proposals, this report shows why Norwich deserves a better quality, less damaging development than the one currently on offer.”

Plans for the shopping centre, lodged by Columbia Threadneedle and Weston Homes, had been approved by Norwich City Council in 2018.The plans include more than 1,200 new homes, including in the tower, a hotel, cinema, car parks and new shops.

But the public inquiry was triggered by a request by national heritage body Historic England, which objected to the massing and height of the revamp and its impact on the historic city skyscape, including Norwich Cathedral.

While council officers conceded harm would be done, they said it was outweighed by social and economic benefits.

Anglia Square. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Anglia Square. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

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At the planning inquiry, the developers said “never has the prize of much needed regeneration and redevelopment of this hugely important site been closer at hand”.

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