Green Party co-leader hits out at 'out of date' Anglia Square proposals
PUBLISHED: 10:47 22 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:47 22 April 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
The proposed redevelopment of Anglia Square has gone out of date before it has even been built.
This is the view of Green Party national co-leader Sian Berry, as she backed the local group's stance over the multi-million pound proposals.
The fate of the £271m revamp ultimately rests with the government, after a call-in was made by communities secretary James Brokenshire, following Norwich City Council's decision to approve the plans.
The Green Party was among those to request the call-in, and co-leader Ms Berry viewed the site as part of a visit to the city ahead of the May local election.
Here, she criticised the proposals, backing the stance of the Green group locally, which has long since campaigned against them.
She said: “The development as it stands is not compatible with things like healthy air and the need for affordable housing and has gone out of date very, very quickly.
“The fact it has been called-in provides a great amount of breathing space to look at alternative plans and alternative ways of funding it and end up with something better, especially if the community is involved from the ground up - which is how planning should be done.”
The scheme by developer Weston Homes, with investment firm Columbia Threadneedle, was approved by members of Norwich City Council's planning committee back in September, but this decision now rests with the Planning Inspectorate.
The decision to call the plans in has come at the frustration of City Hall, with fears that the city will miss out on government funding set aside to deliver the scheme.
Last month, a spokesman for Norwich City Council said: “We are very disappointed by this news. Not only will it substantially delay progress on a site in desperate need of development, but also make it very unlikely that Norwich will be able to benefit from the £12.2m of government funds already allocated to this development.”
Weston Homes did not want to give their view on Ms Berry's comments. Those wishing to make their views on the plans known have until Thursday, May 9, to submit comments through the Planning Inspectorate's website.