by DAN GRIMMER
Friday, March 9, 2012
The long-awaited redevelopment of a Norwich shopping centre is edging nearer, but the company behind the plans has warned it could still be some time before work begins.
Plans for a major revamp of Anglia Square have been in the pipeline for years, but progress on the facelift has been hampered by the recession.
Developer Centenary Ashcroft secured permission for a multi-million pound regeneration of the 1960s complex in 2008.
But, in January last year, Centenary Ashcroft lodged revised plans for the scheme with Norwich City Council.
The plans include 178 new homes, a public square, new shops, restaurants, cafes and a healthcare centre, while Gildengate House, the office block over the entrance to the car park, will be updated to provide modern offices.
In June last year the revised plans came before the city council’s planning committee, where it was agreed to give the head of planning, in consultation with the committee’s chairman and vice chairman, powers to fine tune and approve the application.
Those talks are still ongoing, with the legal agreements yet to be signed, although Ranald Phillips, director of Centenary Ashcroft said: “We are very close to finalising the planning consent. We would like to be on site later this year, but it is difficult to read the market.
“Traders are still licking their wounds after the economic slowdown, so we are watching the markets.”
An exhibition about the plans for Anglia Square, which have been drawn up by b3 architects, was recently displayed at Bidwells offices in Norwich.
The city council has long been keen to see new life breathed into the area around Anglia Square. A strategy known as the northern area action plan has been developed, which will be used as a blueprint when determining planning applications in the area.
Work has also been done on the so-called St Augustine’s gyratory scheme, which has made a number of streets close to Anglia Square one-way.
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