Extra time for Norwich City Council to lodge Anglia Square revamp case

Plans for a 20-storey tower in Anglia Square. Photo: Weston Homes

Plans for a 20-storey tower in Anglia Square. Photo: Weston Homes - Credit: Weston Homes

Extra time has been granted for Norwich City Council to submit its case for why it agreed to the controversial revamp of Anglia Square.

The council is still preparing what is known as the statement of case, which it needs to lodge with the inspector in whose fate the future of the complex lies.

Norwich City Council's planning committee agreed, in December last year, to grant permission to developer Weston Homes for the £271m scheme at Anglia Square.

The scheme would see the 1960s-built shopping centre and neighbouring Sovereign House demolished. They would be replaced with new blocks, including 1,234 new homes, a cinema, car parks, a 200-bed hotel and a new home for Surrey Chapel.

Members of City Hall's planning committee had voted by seven votes to five in favour of the scheme, despite hundreds of objections to the scheme, including from the Dean and Chapter of Norwich Cathedral.

But the matter was called in by communities secretary James Brokenshire after a request from objectors, including Historic England.

The national heritage body was concerned about the impact of the proposed development, with its 20-storey tower, on Norwich's character.

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The inquiry over the plans will take place next year, with 16 days of hearings due to start on January 28.

The council had a deadline of Friday, June 21 to submit its statement of case to the inspector, but that has been extended to Friday, August 2.

When City Hall officers recommended that the planning committee grant permission, they said, although the development and the tower would cause harm, a "compelling case" had been made, with "economic and social benefits" for the city.

Objectors such as the Norwich Society, the St Augustine's Community Together Residents' Association and the Cathedral Magdalen and St Augustine's Forum, have also been making their own submissions to the Planning Inspectorate inquiry.

Following next year's inquiry, the inspector will make a recommendation to the communities secretary as to whether the scheme should be allowed to proceed or not.

The communities secretary can follow that advice, or could ignore it.