Decision due over facelift for Norwich’s Castle Mall

Castle Mall artists impression Nov 2013.

Castle Mall artists impression Nov 2013. - Credit: Supplied

Bosses at Norwich's Castle Mall have warned if a proposed facelift for one of its entrances is turned down, it could rob the shopping centre of future investment.

After a previous application to alter the Back of the Inns entrance was rejected, the centre's owners, Infrared UK, submitted a revised proposal to Norwich City Council.

It includes a patterned aluminium façade, designed like a shawl to reflect the city's textile heritage.

However, officers at Norwich City Council say that would be a 'discordant' feature, which would change and dilute existing architectural character of the centre, which is home to 850 jobs.

Officers are recommending the planning committee turns down the proposal when it meets on Thursday.

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But centre manager Paul McCarthy has written to officers and councillors urging them to support it.

He said: 'My concern is that if the revised application is refused, then the centre's owners will, not unreasonably, infer that Norwich is not interested in supporting investment and so will favour investment elsewhere instead, an outcome that would be to our detriment at Castle Mall and Norwich in general.'

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He said an exhibition about the plans in Castle Mall was viewed by 524 people and of those who responded, 97% said they supported the changes.

The changes have support from the Norwich Business Improvement District, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce and Mark Skelton, manager of the Boots store and chairman of the Tenants Association.

However, the Castle Mall's original architect Michael Innes said it should be turned down and described the shawl concept as 'inappropriate' and 'alien'.

What's your view? Leave us a comment below or write to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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