New plans for Anglia Square could see 450 fewer homes than before

Anglia Square. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Anglia Square in Norwich. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The number of homes proposed in fresh plans to revamp Norwich's Anglia Square is likely to be about 450 fewer than in the scrapped scheme.

Previous plans for the shopping centre included a 20-storey tower block, more than 1,200 new homes, a hotel, cinema, car parks and new shops.

That £271m scheme was approved by Norwich City Council, but was called in by the government.

A 20-storey tower is part of the mooted revamp of Anglia Square. Photo: Weston Homes

The scrapped plan for Anglia Square included a 20-storey tower. - Credit: Weston Homes

Following a planning inquiry, an inspector recommended approval, but local government secretary Robert Jenrick blocked it, saying the tower was of “excessive size in relation to its context”.

Developers Weston Homes considered a legal challenge, but abandoned that to devise fresh plans.

And, judging from the Greater Norwich Local Plan - a blueprint for development local councils deem could be acceptable - the number of homes is likely to be reduced in new plans.

That document states Anglia Square should be allocated for "a residential-led mixed-use development including in the region of 800 homes."

It says the scheme can also include student accommodation, shops, offices, workspace, a hotel, leisure and hospitality uses, plus community facilities.

However Historic England, one of the main objectors to the original scheme, had "significant concerns" over the scale, height and density and suggested the allocation figure should be cut from 800 to 600.

Norwich Green Party lodged a "comprehensive objection" and said 800 homes should be a maximum, including any potential
student accommodation.

Despite that, the figure remains at "in the region of 800" in the local plan, due to be submitted for inspection.

Cllr Denise Carlo. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Green city councillor Denise Carlo. - Credit: Archant

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Green city councillor Denise Carlo raised the issue at a Norwich City Council meeting and said it did "not bode well for the need to achieve wide support".

She said: "This still represents a substantial amount of housing for a 4.79 hectare site and makes high-rise development in the oldest part of Norwich likely".

Norwich city councillor Mike Stonard. Pic: Archant.

Mike Stonard, Norwich City Council cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth. - Credit: Archant

Labour's Mike Stonard, council cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth, said: “The council continues to work closely with all concerned to identify the appropriate next steps in development of the site and I’m confident there will be extensive engagement with all interested parties."