PRESS RELEASE: Anglia Square - the battle which must be won

29th April 2020

SAVE Britain’s Heritage launches a new report today on the issues raised by the recent public inquiry into the highly controversial Anglia Square development in the centre of medieval Norwich. See the full report here.

The report entitled Cathedral cities don't need tower blocks includes illustrations and excerpts from evidence presented at the four-week inquiry held earlier this year from key players including Historic England, the Norwich Society and SAVE, as well as many residents and community groups. It highlights the calamitous damage the proposed tower and megastructures by Weston Homes and Columbia Threadneedle Investments would have on the character of the city. 

Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE Britain's Heritage says: "This report highlights the key issues at stake over the rebuilding this significant and highly sensitive site in the medieval city. From the 20-storey tower and £24m public subsidy, to enlightened alternative proposals, this report shows why Norwich deserves a better quality, less damaging development than the one currently on offer."

Marcus Binney, executive president of SAVE Britain’s Heritage says: “Norwich is a great historic city which has largely escaped the scourges of 20th century destruction and development. It will be a tragedy if the 21st century begins with a development as ugly as this which will scar this noble city for decades to come. We call on the Secretary of State to reject for once and for all these damaging proposals so that more visionary and creative alternative plans can come forward."

Ben Oakley, conservation officer at SAVE Britain’s Heritage says: “The message from the local residents, political leaders and organisations of Norwich who spoke out to oppose Weston Homes’ proposals at the inquiry could not have been be clearer: Norwich is a majestic and proud cathedral city that has embraced sympathetic new development for over 1000 years. Let’s continue that tradition and scrap the tower block.”

SAVE is not against the redevelopment of Anglia Square, but this city deserves better. We believe it could be redeveloped in a different way, with lower rise streets and squares that are characteristic of creative quarters that are emerging in cities across the UK. Norwich City Council has proved their credentials as an enlightened client for award winning architecture with the neighbouring development at Goldsmith Street. A drastic re-think is needed.

A decision from the Secretary of State on the planning inquiry is due by mid-June this year. 



Note to editors: 

1. For more information contact Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE Britain's Heritage on 07388 181 181.

2. See the full Cathedral cities don't need tower blocks report here

3. 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.

4. For background information on the campaign and previous press releases see here.

5. For more details about SAVE Britain's Heritage see here.