Statement from SAVE Britain’s Heritage in response to Weston Homes’ Anglia Square press release

Statement from SAVE Britain’s Heritage

19th July, 2022

SAVE reaffirms its view that the Weston scheme will be a monstrous carbuncle on the face of one of England’s finest cathedral cities.

The Weston Homes scheme is itself heavily dependent on public funding in the form of a £15 million grant from Homes England. The Weston scheme still fails to provide the kind of new housing most needed in the centre of historic Norwich.

The viability of any scheme depends on the price put on the land.

More than half the flats in the Weston scheme are single-aspect, and 95% are one- and two-bedroom apartments of which there is already a plentiful supply in Norwich. 

Marcus Binney, executive president of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, says: “It is nonsense to say that the Weston Homes schemes is the only formula that will work. There are numerous examples of different models and types of new housing in Norwich some of them in the vicinity of Anglia Square. Many of these are in three- and four-storey blocks not the eight storeys which Weston Homes propose. 

“The young people of Norwich do not want to be stuffed into airless chicken coop flats which the current heatwave shows are not suitable for purpose.”

By contrast the SAVE Ash Sakula vision offers private gardens or private terraces – at upper levels and on rooftops – to every new resident. These are what the market wants – fresh air, personal open air space and cross ventilation.  

On a point of fact the Weston Homes statement refers to a previous SAVE Britain’s Heritage scheme presented to the public inquiry scheme two years ago. This was in fact prepared for Historic England. Historic England did not pursue the financial viability question as the Weston Homes scheme was also dependent on public subsidy. 

SAVE has made clear and strong criticisms of the Weston Homes schemes at repeated stages. Weston Homes has not taken these on board and indeed by using SAVE’s logo in its publicity has given the impression that SAVE supports the Weston scheme when SAVE has made it abundantly clear it does not. 

ENDS


Notes to editors:

1. For more information and images contact Elizabeth Hopkirk: elizabeth.hopkirk@savebritainsheritage.org / 020 7253 3500.

2. See here for SAVE's alternative vision for Anglia Square, designed by Ash Sakula Architects.

3. See here for our recent press release on our objection to the plans for Anglia Square.

4. SAVE Britain's Heritage is a strong, independent voice in conservation that fights for threatened historic buildings and sustainable reuses. We stand apart from other organisations by bringing together architects, engineers, planners and investors to offer viable alternative proposals. Where necessary, and with expert advice, we take legal action to prevent major and needless losses.