New vision for Anglia Square to rival Weston Homes application

An artist's impression of Save Britain's Heritage's vision for Anglia Square 

An artist's impression of Save Britain's Heritage's vision for Anglia Square - Credit: Save Britain's Heritage/Ash Sakula Architects

A campaign group has stood up to a developer by tabling its detailed alternative vision for the redevelopment of Anglia Square. 

Weston Homes has already submitted plans to Norwich City Council in April for up to 1,100 homes as well as retail and commercial space at the 11.5 acre site.

But now Save Britain's Heritage has drawn up its own plans which the group states provides a "more sympathetic, contextual and lower-rise development based around streets". 

An alternative vision has been presented for Anglia Square to rival Weston Homes 

An alternative vision has been presented for Anglia Square to rival Weston Homes - Credit: Save Britain's Heritage/Ash Sakula Architects

This alternative vision proposes 773 new homes with direct access to outdoor space at street level. 

The majority of these homes would be two-bed apartments and would be four storeys or less. 

Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, said: “The vision we are unveiling shows there is an alternative to the plans Weston Homes have submitted.

Henrietta Billings, from SAVE Britain's Heritage.

Henrietta Billings, from SAVE Britain's Heritage. - Credit: SAVE Britain's Heritage

"Norwich does not have to settle for identikit blocks with dark, one-bed flats.

We are proposing a new human-scaled neighbourhood of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes, all dual-aspect with private outdoor space, community facilities and local shops - spaces whose characterful streets would be uniquely Norwich.”

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Designed by London-based Ash Sakula Architects, the plans include continued accommodation for The Men's Shed charity as well as a 200 sqm community hall and 48 new workshops and artists’ studios.

Robert Sakula, founding partner at Ask Sakula architects, said: “In the 1960s Norwich took a wrong turning in the redevelopment of Anglia Square.

"Now, in 2022, it can either repeat that mistake for a second time, or put it right by repairing and reconnecting Anglia Square with its surroundings.”

A concept image of plans for Norwich's Anglia Square.

A concept image of Weston Homes' plans for Norwich's Anglia Square - Credit: Weston Homes

The vision would also retain the cluster of historic buildings around Pitt Street at the southwestern corner of Anglia Square which survived both Second World War bombing and the area’s major redevelopment in the 1960s.

These buildings - three of which have been submitted to Historic England for potential listing -  include the potential remains of the 11th century Anglo-Saxon church of St Olave’s.

Save Britain's Heritage and Norwich Historic Churches Trust have both sought to protect this recently identified site from demolition.

Barn in Norwich which may contain remains of St Olave's Church

The barn and retaining wall which is believed to include the medieval remains of St Olave's Church - Credit: Mark Wilson

Weston Homes has previously said it would not comment on matters around Anglia Square while its application goes through the planning process.

A decision on Weston Homes' application is expected from Norwich City Council in Autumn 2022.