More than 250 members of public have said no to Anglia Square revamp

PUBLISHED: 06:30 15 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:21 15 May 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 deadline for people to have their say over the controversial revamp of Anglia Square has passed, with more than 300 comments lodged about the scheme.

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

More than a hundred of the comments were submitted over the past few days, as yesterday’s closing date for submissions neared.

Housebuilder Weston Homes, along with landowner Columbia Threadneedle, are seeking permission from Norwich City Council for the ambitious transformation of the shopping complex.

It would include up to 1,250 new homes, of which a minimum of 10pc would be affordable, a 25-storey tower, dozens of shops, a 200-bed hotel, 600-space car park and pedestrianised areas.

But more than 250 members of the public have lodged objections with City Hall.

Some objectors said they supported the principle of redevelopment, but baulked at the scale of the development, particularly the tower.

Some of the public comments included:

• “Not only is the 25 storey tower approximately the same height as the Norwich Cathedral spire, the sheer mass of the surrounding blocks is completely out of scale”

• “The high rise tower would be monstrous”

• Although Anglia Square has been an eyesore since the 1960s, it would be a shame to spoil the Norwich skyline with another eyesore for the coming years, especially a 25-storey tower block”

• “My main concern is associated with the loss of numerous studio and workspaces for artists and creative practitioners”

• “The elderly, poor and disadvantaged community flock to Anglia Square currently for discount shopping and meeting friends to have a cup of coffee. They won’t be able to afford £3.50 for a coffee in the Costas/Prets of the new development”

Around 40 statements of support were lodged, including: “I say build the tower even higher. Make it a beacon that shows Norwich from miles around. The whole area desperately needs redeveloping and this is what Norwich needs. People will get used to it.”

The developers have said regeneration would transform the area and enhance the local community. They say the proposals are the result of two years of extensive discussion with the city council.

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

A decision will be made by Norwich City Council’s planning committee in due course.

Watchdog’s objections

Civic watchdogs the Norwich Society has lodged its formal objection to the Anglia Square proposals.

They say they share the aspiration of Norwich City Council and the developers for the successful regeneration of the site.

But they are calling for the application to be rejected for a number of reasons.

They say: “There are many aspects of the proposed scheme about which the Norwich Society has serious concerns and reservations”.

Such concerns include that:

• The mass and scale of the development would damage Norwich’s unique character

• The proposed 25-storey tower would spoil many valued views of the city

• No proper provision for displaced artists and craftspeople

• The proposed residential provision ‘fails to meet the needs of local people

• The application does not adhere to planning policies

• It risks turning Norwich into “another clone high-rise city”.

MORE: Concerns over dog walkers, library books and views

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