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Anglia Square revamp latest: locals put ideas forward at event

PUBLISHED: 18:12 27 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:12 27 January 2018

More than 50 people attended The Community Vision Event at St. Augustine's Church Hall on Friday. Picture: Simeon Jackson

More than 50 people attended The Community Vision Event at St. Augustine's Church Hall on Friday. Picture: Simeon Jackson

Archant

A host of ideas have been put forward by the public as the wait goes on for Anglia Square to be redeveloped.

Gail Mayhew, chair of the Cathedral Magdalen & St Augustine’s Neighbourhood Forum. Picture: Simeon Jackson Gail Mayhew, chair of the Cathedral Magdalen & St Augustine’s Neighbourhood Forum. Picture: Simeon Jackson

At a Community Vision event more than 50 people shared their thoughts on the future of Anglia Square on sticky notes, which were attached to posters covering six key areas: economy, shopping, housing, culture and tourism, traffic and movement of people and community infrastructure.

Common issues and themes raised included the need for a diverse range of shops and housing, the integration of the universities and the preservation of viewpoints.

Last year, developers Weston Homes and Columbia Threadneedle revealed plans to demolish the shopping centre and build 1,350 new homes - including a 25-storey tower block. A planning application has not yet been submitted, but the community in the area has raised concerns about the proposals and their lack of involvement.

To address these concerns, the Norfolk Association of Architects (NAA) joined the St Augustine’s Community Together Residents’ Association, Cathedral Magdalen and St Augustine’s Neighbourhood Forum Steering Group and The Norwich Society to host a Community Vision Event at St Augustine’s Church Hall.

More than 50 people attended The Community Vision Event at St. Augustine's Church Hall on Friday. Picture: Simeon Jackson More than 50 people attended The Community Vision Event at St. Augustine's Church Hall on Friday. Picture: Simeon Jackson

All 54 places were taken for the initial discussion session on Friday night and the chief planner attended, giving a brief update on the progress of the proposals.

Architects from the NAA helped to illustrate the points raised at the event through drawings and diagrams at a further drop-in and feedback session on Saturday.

Anthony Hudson, council member of the NAA, said: “People are clearly keen for greater connectivity. It feels very disjointed at present and there is a lack of community. It feels unloved and visitors are no doubt being perturbed by a lack of obvious routes.”

Simeon Jackson, councillor for Mancroft Ward, said compromise would be necessary.

The Community Vision Event at St. Augustine's Church Hall on Friday. Picture: Simeon Jackson The Community Vision Event at St. Augustine's Church Hall on Friday. Picture: Simeon Jackson

He said: “By and large people in the area have similar priorities. The biggest problem is the developers want a much larger scale development than the local community.”

Gail Mayhew, chairman of the steering committee, seconded Mr Jackson’s view.

She said: “We want a Norwich solution for a Norwich site, not a London solution.”

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