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Traders appeal for quick decision over 'falling apart' Anglia Square

PUBLISHED: 10:14 17 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:14 17 August 2019

Anglia Square. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Anglia Square. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

Traders in Anglia Square have told an inspector a quick decision to allow the £271m revamp of the shopping complex is essential for the area's future.

Plans for Anglia Sqaure, view towards St Augustine's Church. Photo: Weston HomesPlans for Anglia Sqaure, view towards St Augustine's Church. Photo: Weston Homes

Developer Weston Homes was given permission for the shopping complex redevelopment by Norwich City Council's planning committee in December last year.

The scheme would see the shopping centre and neighbouring Sovereign House demolished, replaced with new blocks, including 1,234 homes, a cinema, car parks, a 200-bed hotel and a new home for Surrey Chapel.

But the matter was called in by the government after a request from objectors, including Historic England, which was concerned about the impact of the proposed development, with its 20-storey tower, on Norwich's character.

The inquiry over the plans will take place next January. After that, the inspector will make a recommendation as to whether the scheme should be allowed to proceed.

James Wade. vice chair of MATA. Pic: Sonya DuncanJames Wade. vice chair of MATA. Pic: Sonya Duncan

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The communities secretary can follow that advice, or ignore it.

And the Magdalen Street Area and Anglia Square Traders Association (MATA) has submitted its case for why the scheme should get the go-ahead.

James Wade, vice-chair of MATA, said, in the submission to the inquiry: "The committee implores you and the minister to make a quick decision and one in favour of supporting the council before this community hub and local facility dies completely."

The group's submission stated: "We all know Anglia Square is falling apart, it is near 50 years old. It has always had empty shops and none of the previous owners have ever made enough money to maintain it properly or keep it going.

"Every year that passes it costs more and more to patch up, we know it cannot survive much longer."

The MATA submission questioned why those who protested so much against the 20-storey tower had not objected to extra height being added to the converted Westlegate House close to Norwich Castle in the city centre.

And they said: "Should this application fail, MATA is concerned not only will this developer walk away but, given the track record of the previous applications, the interest of any other owner/developer would be non-existent."

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