Former Norwich MP among more than 550 calling for Anglia Square revamp rejection

A CGI image showing what Anglia Square could look like at night. Picture: Weston Homes

A CGI image showing what Anglia Square could look like at night. Picture: Weston Homes - Credit: Weston Homes

A petition against the development of Norwich's Anglia Square, signed by more than 500 people, including a former city MP, is to be handed in.

Former Norwich North MP Ian Gibson. Photo: Denise Bradley.

Former Norwich North MP Ian Gibson. Photo: Denise Bradley. - Credit: vÉÄövǬ©Archant Pho

Housebuilder Weston Homes, along with landowner Columbia Threadneedle, are seeking permission from Norwich City Council for the transformation of the shopping complex.

It would include up to 1,250 new homes, a 25-storey tower, dozens of shops, a 200-bed hotel, 600-space car park and pedestrianised areas.

Consultation closed in May, with more than 350 comments lodged, many from members of the public objecting to the scale.

Historic England objected, saying three large blocks of up to 12 storeys and the 25-storey tower would be at odds with Norwich's 'unique heritage' and the Council for British Archaeology raised similar concerns.

This week, the Cathedral Magdalen and St Augustine's Forum (CMSAF), together with St Augustine's Community Together Residents' Association will present a petition to the city council calling for rejection.

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Among the signatories was Ian Gibson, former Labour MP for Norwich North. He said: 'Who knows best about Anglia Square and development in Norwich? For me it is the Norwich public who for years have put up with poor political decisions.

'Combined with poor housing quality, the absence of significant numbers of affordable housing, homelessness, failing services and a Norwich north-south divide this is not delivering the quality of city we need.'

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Gail Mayhew, chair of the CMSAF, said: 'The Anglia Square scheme, as currently proposed, will not solve local housing affordability issues and there are thousands of unbuilt planning permissions in sites around the fringe of the city.

'Instead, it will dwarf our historic city centre, displace many entrepreneurial and creative businesses and not deliver the sensitive regeneration we want and need for the city and its residents to thrive.'

The developers have said regeneration would transform the area and enhance the community.

They say the proposals are the result of two years of discussion with the city council and the tower is a 'strong visual counterpoint' to Norwich's landmarks.

A date has yet to be set for when the council's planning committee will make a decision.

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