Councillors have been accused of making a "cynical last dig" at Anglia Square developers after demanding a policy overhaul. 

Opposition members at the Labour-controlled Norwich City Council have called for the scrapping of community infrastructure levy (CIL) exemptions for private developers. 

CIL is a tax on housing developers with the money used to fund facilities like playgrounds, schools, libraries and allotments. Anglia Square was one of the most prominent schemes to benefit from an exemption.

At a meeting on Tuesday, councillor Karen Davis said City Hall was "lining the pockets of fat cats" through its use of the policy. 

"Our citizens are too poor to heat their homes and millionaire developers are dining out at their expense," she added. "This is perpetuating a system of inequality".

Norwich Evening News: Anglia SquareAnglia Square (Image: Denise Bradley/Newsquest)The decision to let Weston Homes - the developer behind Anglia Square - off from paying £2.3m in CIL was met with objections when it was approved in November. 

This still left an extra £5.4m bill for the final two phases of the development. 

Critics have called the exemption a "tax break" for wealthy developers and argue that it was unsuccessful in safeguarding the Anglia Square project - the £300m revamp was scrapped last month after Weston Homes said it was no longer financially viable. 

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Council leader Mike Stonard said the exemption was used in "extremely rare circumstances" and remained necessary to bolster certain developments.

Norwich Evening News: Council leader Mike StonardCouncil leader Mike Stonard (Image: Denise Bradley)He said: "These are very difficult times for the construction industry and, going forward, we need to have the CIL exemption in our toolkit to facilitate other schemes that are struggling to achieve viability.

"Difficult choices may have to be made."

Labour councillor Mike Sands added: "This motion is a cynical last dig at Weston Homes. There are extraordinary costs involved in the development of Anglia Square.

"We know this is an exceptional site."