'Fundamentally at odds' - Historic England opposes Anglia Square plans
- Credit: Antony Kelly
The multi-million pound revamp of Anglia Square has been handed a further blow - after the government's heritage advisor called for the scheme to be rejected.
Historic England has formally objected to Weston Homes' plans for the shopping centre, saying the scale and mass of the development would be "fundamentally at odds" with Norwich's character.
The watchdog says the plans, which include 14 buildings ranging from three to eight storeys tall, would harm the city centre conservation area, listed buildings such as St Augustine's Church and does not fit in with planning policies.
Up to 1,100 homes are proposed at the 11.5-acre site, along with retail and commercial space.
But Historic England says the plans are a missed opportunity and is urging a significant reduction in the scale and mass of the proposals.
Tony Calladine, Historic England's East of England regional director, said: “A redevelopment of Anglia Square offers an extraordinary opportunity to repair the historic character of the area and to undo the damage caused by the development of the 1960s, which has continued to blight Norwich ever since.
“The scale, mass and architectural character in the present proposals would be fundamentally at odds with the historic city of Norwich.
"This would not represent the best development possible for the people of Norwich or the place they love.
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“We want to see a development at Anglia Square that is worthy of the city of Norwich and which complements its historic character.
"We believe it is possible to create a development that gives local people the facilities they need, and which also fits with the historic character of the city.”
Previous plans for the site - which included the controversial 20-storey tower - were rejected by then local government secretary Robert Jenrick.
Historic England was among organisations which had asked the government to intervene over those plans, after they had been approved by Norwich City Council's planning committee.
Weston Homes did not want to comment.