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Anglia Square tower is better suited to London Docklands, says charity

PUBLISHED: 06:30 21 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:46 21 April 2018

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

Weston Homes

The 25-storey tower proposed as part of the revamp of Anglia Square will put Norwich’s skyline at risk and would be better suited to London’s Docklands.

That’s the view of the Council for British Archaeology, which has lodged an objection to the ambitious plans for the shopping complex.

Housebuilder Weston Homes, along with landowner Columbia Threadneedle, are hoping to build the residential tower in Anglia Square. It is part of a larger redevelopment of the site, which would include up to 1,250 new homes, dozens of shops, a 200-bed hotel, 600-space car park and pedestrianised areas.

But the tower has been one of the most contentious elements of the plans. The Norwich Society says it will be too high and the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), a charity founded in 1944, has added its opposition.

Bob Sydes, listed buildings caseworker, has written to Norwich City Council to object. He said: “We consider that the Norwich skyline is at risk from the tower and we believe that the character and appearance of the Norwich Conservation Area and the setting designated and non-designated heritage assets is also at risk from the overall scale and massing of the development.

“The CBA believes that this proposal should be scaled down and should deliver a more thoughtful enhancement of the area that better connects neighbourhoods and delivers placemaking opportunity suited to the character of Norwich, rather than a financially viable quantum of development that is perhaps better suited to the London Docklands.”

But, the applicant says the tower has been designed as a “strong visual counterpoint” to Norwich’s historic landmarks, such as the cathedral.

Documents submitted to City Hall states: “The development proposals are not considered to undermine the cathedral’s dominance or any of the fundamental aspects of its visual and historic relationship with the city.”

A spokesman for Weston Homes has said the financial viability of Anglia Square’s redevelopment “rests with the scheme in its entirety.”

There have now been nearly 80 comments lodged with city council about the proposal. More than 60 are objections, with a dozen in support.

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