PRESS RELEASE: Battle lines drawn: Norwich public inquiry over 20 storey tower in medieval centre opens today

28th January 2020


The long awaited public inquiry into the proposed 20 storey tower block in the centre of the city opens today 28th January. It will be held at Norwich City Hall and will last for 4 weeks.

SAVE alongside The Norwich Society, Historic England and Norwich Cycling Campaign, as well as many other residents and community groups, will be putting their case to the Planning Inspectorate against the scheme proposed by Weston Homes, Columbia Threadneedle Investments and Norwich City Council.

Evidence will be heard on a range of topics beginning with heritage (29th Jan - 4th Feb). SAVE's key witness Alec Forshaw will give evidence on the morning of Thursday 30th January. Other issues that will be covered at the inquiry include:

1. Viability (5th & 6th February)

2. Transport (11th February)

3. Air Quality (12th - 14th February)

4. Planning policy and the planning balance (25th & 26th February)

The closing submissions will take place on 28th February. See the draft timetable here

Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE Britain's Heritage said:  "SAVE is not against the regeneration of Anglia Square, but this city deserves better. We believe it could be redeveloped in a different way, with low-rise streets and squares that are characteristic of creative quarters that are emerging in cities across the UK.

Norwich City Council has already proved its credentials as an enlightened client for award winning architecture with the neighbouring Goldsmith Street development awarded the 2019 Stirling Prize.  Why can't the Council apply the same visionary leadership at Anglia Square - and achieve the right type of development in this sensitive location? A drastic re-think is needed and we look forward to putting our case to the Planning Inspectorate." 

See the joint letter published in The Times on 14th December 2019 signed by SAVE Britain's Heritage and seven other national and local heritage organisations including The Georgian Group, The Norwich Society, Ancient Monuments Society, The Victorian Society, World Monuments Fund Britain, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, stating their concerns about the highly controversial proposals.

See here the article published in The Times by Richard Morrison on 13th December 2019. 

See here for more information about SAVE's campaign leading up to the public inquiry.


Note to editors

  1. For more information and images contact Ben Oakley, Conservation Officer at SAVE Britain's Heritage: / 020 7253 3500.
  2. SAVE Britain’s Heritage has been campaigning for historic buildings since its formation in 1975 by a group of architectural historians, writers, journalists and planners. It is a strong, independent voice in conservation, free to respond rapidly to emergencies and to speak out loud for the historic built environment.