SAVE gears up for battle against planned 20 storey tower in historic central Norwich
SAVE Britain’s Heritage is preparing to give evidence at a major Public Inquiry into the controversial redevelopment scheme proposed for Norwich city centre - known as Anglia Square.
Approved by Norwich City Council in December 2018, the plans by Weston Homes and Columbia Threadneedle would see this 12 acre site within the Norwich Conservation Area redeveloped for a £300 million mixed use scheme of 1250 flats, and hotel, retail and commercial space.
The proposal includes a highly controversial 20-storey tower and bulky adjoining blocks of up to 12 storeys, a massing that is completely alien within the context of central Norwich which would permanently disfigure the panoramic setting of the city’s Grade I listed 13th century Cathedral.
In their Statement of Case for the Inquiry, Norwich City Council states that “the entire development will be visible from many places in and around the city centre”. Its impact therefore cannot avoid inflicting a significant degree of harm to the character and appearance of the City Centre Conservation Area.
The recently announced 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize winning Goldsmith Street, also in Norwich, is an imaginative and environmentally conscious social housing scheme built at a human scale. It shows how new low rise development can be successfully knitted into existing townscapes without causing widespread visual harm to its surroundings.
Following strong objections from local campaign groups and residents, SAVE along with the Norwich Society and others supported Historic England’s clear recommendation that the application be ‘called-in’ by Secretary of State Rt Hon Robert Jenrick.
SAVE will be represented at the Public Inquiry by Alec Forshaw, former head of Conservation at Islington Council and a key witness at the Smithfield Market Inquiry. The Anglia Square Public Inquiry begins on 28th January 2020.