Crowdfunder campaign launched by opponents of Anglia Square revamp
PUBLISHED: 13:40 12 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:00 12 November 2019
Cycling campaigners have launched a crowdfunding appeal to pay for a pollution expert to give evidence at the inquiry into whether the £271m Anglia Square redevelopment should get the green light.
Norwich Cycling Campaign has made the appeal ahead of the planning inquiry into Norwich City Council's decision to grant planning permission for the revamp of the shopping centre.
Permission was given to Weston Homes for the redevelopment of the shopping complex almost a year ago.
But the government called in the decision, after a request from Historic England, which feared the impact of the development - and its 20-storey tower - on the character of Norwich.
The call-in will see an inspector hold almost three weeks of hearings, before making a recommendation to the communities secretary.
The minister could go with the recommendation or ignore it.
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It will now be up to the inspector to hear the cases of those for and against the development, which includes 1,234 new homes, a leisure quarter with a cinema, car parks, a 200-bed hotel, the tower block and a new home for Surrey Chapel.
At a pre-inquiry hearing, inspector David Prentis said the effects of the development on air quality were likely to be among issues considered.
But campaigners against the development are disappointed Norfolk County Council, which has a responsibility for public health and had raised previous concerns over air quality, would not be giving evidence.
They want independent evidence to be presented, so are raising cash for an expert witness.
Tony Clarke, who will represent Norwich Cycling Campaign at the inquiry, said: "We now have the services of an expert in this field who has experience of presenting at public inquiries of this nature.
"However we need to fund this witness and we have therefore launched a crowdfunding appeal. A number of contributions have been promised so far towards the target of £1,500.
"It is very strange that council tax payers' money can be used to pay for a QC for the city council, and the position of the director of public health, but we have to make an public appeal to fund an expert witness,"
The crowdfunding website is at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/angliasquare2020