Traders warn Anglia Square will be ‘boarded-up shell’ if £271m revamp is rejected
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Anglia Square risks becoming a 'boarded-up shell' if the controversial revamp is not approved, traders have warned.
But shop owners in Magdalen Street have also raised concerns about what will happen to their businesses during the construction work, if the plans get the go-ahead.
Officers at Norwich City Council are recommending that the authority's planning committee gives the £271m proposal permission the go-ahead when it meets on Thursday, December 6.
Developers Weston Homes, along with landowner Columbia Threadneedle, want permission so buildings in the shopping centre can be replaced with new blocks, including 1,234 new homes, a leisure quarter with a cinema, car parks, a 20-storey tower block and a new home for Surrey Chapel.
The city council received 939 comments on the original proposals and the revised plans. That included 767 objections and 120 comments in support.
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And James Wade, the deputy chair of the Magdalen Street Area and Anglia Square Traders Association, warned of what could happen if the application is rejected.
Mr Wade, who runs Secondhand Land, said those who want the square to remain as it is are 'sadly misguided'.
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He said: 'If there is no redevelopment this time I fear Anglia Square in total will become a boarded-up shell.
'Without Anglia Square, Magdalen Street businesses will have no future and the same could be said if Magdalen Street dies. Anglia Square in its current form would not survive.
'Don't these people who object care about the services this area offers to the local community? Don't they care about the job losses?
'If this happens it will lead to a lot more people in the area and, on top of that, there would be 1,200 to 1,800 people living there, which would mean more trade. If the councillors say no, I think the whole thing will gradually crumble.'
Shirley Tyrrell, who owns S&J Seafood, said: 'It's an eyesore and I want to see something happen there, but I am not sure about the height of the tower.'
She added she feared the impact on the area during construction. She said: 'We only just survived when they were doing the work on the cycle lane when the street was shut for months.'