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Norwich's Anglia Square revamp could be put back, developers warn

Developers have warned that the long delayed £100m revamp of Anglia Square could be set back again if a planning application for a new health centre as part of the multi-million plans is not processed immediately.

Plans for a conversion from office to healthcare centre on the first floor of buildings in Sovereign Way at Anglia Square were lodged with Norwich City Council this week.

And in a letter to the council, Ranald Phillips, a director of the developers Centenary Ashcroft, warns that delaying approval of the application could affect the early delivery of the initial phases of the Anglia Square project.

However, Norwich City Council moved today to allay any fears and spokesman Amy Lyall said: “There are no delays to this application. We expect it to go to planning committee and be determined on schedule.”

As reported, work to transform the 1960s shopping centre is due to start next year, with Centenary Ashcroft outlining revamped plans earlier this year that include the demolition of the unloved multi-storey car park and the retention of Gildengate House.

A new healthcare centre at Anglia Square is part of the proposals with the Gurney practice in nearby Magdalen Street keen to take up occupation.

In a letter to council planning officer Gary Howe, Mr Phillips urges the application to be approved immediately, and warns that any delay could thwart the Gurney practice’s intended move.

in the letter, he said: “Time is now seriously running against us if we are to provide the new accommodation in time to enable a release of the practice’s existing commitments.

“The alternative will also have repercussions on the viability of the early delivery of the initial phases of the Anglia Square project.”

Mr Phillips did not wish to comment yesterday, but said the main application for the revamp would be submitted to Norwich City Council for approval before Christmas.

Frances McKenzie, Gurney Practice Director, confirmed that it was very interested in moving into the new healthcare centre.

Under the revamp plans the multi-storey will be replaced with two-level rooftop car parking and Gildengate will also be reclad and totally updated to provide modern office facilities. The number of new homes at the site has been reduced from 198 to 178, but the number of affordable homes, 51, remains the same.

Most of the plans were given planning consent in 2008, including a 7,792sq m food store with 507 car parking spaces underneath.

<t> Have you got a planning story for the Evening News? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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