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‘Clone high-rise city’ fear over revised plans for Norwich’s Anglia Square

PUBLISHED: 06:53 14 October 2018 | UPDATED: 06:53 14 October 2018

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

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

Weston Homes

The revised proposals for Anglia Square would still risk turning Norwich into “yet another clone high-rise city”, according to civic watchdogs.

Housebuilder Weston Homes, along with landowner Columbia Threadneedle, lodged revised plans for its revamp of the shopping centre with Norwich City Council last month.

The revised scheme sees the height of the controversial 25-storey tower, which would be a ‘marker building’ in the development, reduced by five storeys.

The developers had said that would “emphasise its slender proportions and reduce its visual impact”, but the Norwich Society has still tabled an objection to the revised scheme.

Along with the tower, the proposals include 1,200 new homes, dozens of shops, a 200-bed hotel, 600-space car park and pedestrianised areas.

But in the Norwich Society’s objection, vice-chairman Paul Burall, said: “While the 20 storey tower is an unnecessary and unwelcome intrusion on the city skyline, it is the sheer bulk and height of the other blocks that would cause the most damage to Norwich’s unique street scene.

“We again highlight the 12 storey block on the St Crispin’s roundabout frontage as an example of the harm that the development would cause in terms of being so out-of-scale with buildings in the rest of the city centre.

“In the long term, we suggest that allowing this development would damage the city economy.

“The Anglia Square proposal risks turning Norwich into yet another clone high-rise city, damaging its attractiveness for those who live and work here, deterring visitors, and putting off specialist and skilled staff who are considering moving to the city: all things that affect long-term prosperity.”

The society’s objection says there are alternatives, suggesting a consortium of local investors, developers and others could join the landowner in “developing the crucial site for the overall benefit of the city”.

More than 400 comments have been lodged over the original scheme and the revised scheme, the majority objecting.

A decision on whether to grant planning permission will be made by members of Norwich City Council’s planning committee in due course.

Paul Burall, from the Norwich Society. Pic: Sonya Duncan.Paul Burall, from the Norwich Society. Pic: Sonya Duncan.

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