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Community to come together to discuss next move over controversial Anglia Square revamp

New plan for a 20-storey tower in Anglia Sqaure. Photo: Weston Homes

New plan for a 20-storey tower in Anglia Sqaure. Photo: Weston Homes

Weston Homes

The controversial £271m revamp of Anglia Square will come under the spotlight at a public meeting tonight to discuss what the community’s next moves should be.

Stuart McLaren, secretary of St Augustine's Community Together Residents Association. Photo: Bill SmithStuart McLaren, secretary of St Augustine's Community Together Residents Association. Photo: Bill Smith

The scheme from Weston Homes and Columbia Threedneedle for the Norwich complex was granted permission by seven votes to five by members of Norwich City Council’s planning committee in December.

It would see the current Anglia Square demolished and replaced with new blocks, including 1,234 new homes, a leisure quarter with a cinema, car parks, a 200-bed hotel, a 20-storey high tower block and a new home for Surrey Chapel.

The proposal had been criticised by Historic England, the Norwich Society, Norwich Cathedral, designer Wayne Hemingway and architecture author Matthew Rice.

And Historic England, which said the development would harm Norwich’s character, triggered a bid to get the issue called in by the government and communities secretary James Brokenshire.

He has yet to signal whether he will do that. But if he does, it would lead to a public inquiry and the final decision would rest with him.

In the meantime, Cathedral Magdalen and St Augustine’s Forum and St Augustine’s Community Together Residents Association has organised a public meeting around the issue, taking place this evening.

Stuart McLaren, secretary of St Augustine’s Community Together, said: “We don’t want to lose the energy which was built up around this and it’s not the end of the matter.

“If it’s called in, then people will be able to comment on that, so we’ll be explaining what that process will be.

“The developer is also likely to be asking the council if it can be excused from paying the community infrastructure levy, so we’ll be gauging people’s views on that.

“We’ve invited local councillors to come along. And we don’t just want to hear from people who are against it. If someone who supports it wants to come along, then they’re welcome.

“I don’t think any of us would say Anglia Square does not need redevelopment, but there are many who do not feel this is the right scheme.”

The meeting will be held in St Augustine’s Hall in Glidencroft, Norwich, from 7.30pm.

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