Clock ticking over £271m Anglia Square revamp planning inquiry

Plans for Anglia Square. Photo: Weston Homes

Plans for Anglia Square. Photo: Weston Homes

Weston Homes

The clock is ticking for those who want to have their say on the planning inquiry on whether the £271m revamp of Norwich’s Anglia Square should be allowed to go ahead.

Anglia Square. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLYAnglia Square. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A planning inquiry has been triggered into Norwich City Council’s decision to grant permission to Weston Homes for the redevelopment of the shopping complex.

The city council planning committee voted, by seven votes to five, to approve the scheme in December, but communities secretary James Brokenshire has called-in the matter.

That was triggered by Historic England. Other objectors included the Norwich Society, the St Augustine’s Community Together Residents’ Association, the Cathedral Magdalen and St Augustine’s Forum and the Dean and Chapter of Norwich Cathedral, who raised concerns over the impact of the development, with its 20-storey tower, on Norwich’s character.

The plans would see the 1960s-built shopping centre and neighbouring Sovereign House demolished.

They would be replaced with new blocks, including 1,234 new homes, a cinema, car parks, a 200-bed hotel and a new home for Surrey Chapel.

The planning inspectorate has written to Norwich City Council, telling them it has until May to submit a statement of case - outlining what the authority intends to put forward at the inquiry.

When officers recommended permission be granted, they had said although the development and the tower would cause harm, a “compelling case” had been made, with “economic and social benefits” for the city.

The council will also need to seek to agree a statement of common ground with all the participants in the inquiry, including Weston Homes and Historic England.

The city council has said it will also be writing to everyone who made representations on the planning application, alerting them to the inquiry process and what they need to do if they want to be involved.

There are likely to be a number of public hearings in Norwich, before an inspector makes a recommendation to the communities secretary.

The communities secretary can choose to follow that advice, or they could reject it.

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