Revealed: New Anglia Square talks take place
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021
Talks to pave the way for a fresh application to revamp Norwich's Anglia Square have taken place between developers and opponents.
It is understood that developer Weston Homes has held talks with Historic England - one of the chief objectors to the previous £271m proposal which was rejected by the secretary of state.
The controversial plans, which included a 20-storey tower block, more than 1,200 new homes, a hotel, cinema, car parks and new shops, were approved by Norwich City Council, but were called in by the government.
Historic England, SAVE Britain's Heritage and the Norwich Society were among those which objected to the plans for Anglia Square, triggering the call in.
Following a planning inquiry, an inspector recommended the scheme should go ahead, but local government secretary Robert Jenrick blocked it.
He said the massing of the individual blocks and the tower would be “uncharacteristic” in the Norwich City Centre Conservation Area and did not fit with policy.
Weston Homes had been planning a legal challenge, but abandoned it in April, pledging to go back to the drawing board and work with organisations to come up with new plans.
Discussions with Historic England are understood to have taken place.
During the planning inquiry, Historic England put forward an alternative vision for what could happen at the site.
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Designed by architects Ash Sakula, it featured just under 600 homes, the bulk at low levels, along with a sky garden.
And Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, said he hoped new proposals would come forward soon.
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He said: "I think everybody agrees this blighted site would benefit from regeneration, from new homes, jobs and investment.
"It would be good to see proposals coming forward in the next few months and to get an application into the city council.
"There is a strong consensus, even though there are differences over what it should look like, that the area does need to be redeveloped, so people in the area can benefit.
"The Anglia Square site is somewhere sorely in need of complete redevelopment."
Weston Homes did not respond to a request for comment.