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Norwich homes scheme revamped after government refusal

Words: Huw Morris

A major housing proposal in the centre of Norwich has been radically revamped after the government rejected the original scheme.

Weston Homes has revised its designs for the 4.7-hectare Anglia Square development, scrapping its controversial 20-storey tower and slashing the floor space by a third.

The new scheme proposes 14 lower-rise buildings, ranging from three to eight storeys, set around inner courtyards, two public squares and a network of pedestrian streets. The previous cluster of blocks ranged from five to 12 storeys, with total floor space reduced from 176.5 square metres to 114.28 square metres.

The new proposals for Anglia Square will provide for up to 1,100 mixed-tenure homes and up to 7,432 square metres of retail, commercial and leisure premises including a community hub, up to 450 car parking spaces, cycle bay, tree planting, green landscaping and ecological features. The previous scheme proposed 1,250 homes and commercial space of 39,948 square metres.

Former communities secretary Robert Jenrick overruled a planning inspector and rejected the original proposal in November 2020 for its “excessive size in relation to its context” and because the scheme had not proved the “exceptional quality required by policy”.

The developer said historic photographs of the area from the Victorian and Edwardian eras had helped to inform the new design.

The scheme would create around 411 construction jobs and related employment a year with the complete project providing around 288 jobs in the retail and other commercial premises with residents of the new homes spending between £21.9 to £36.4 million annually in the local economy.

“With the new proposals for Anglia Square, we have consulted in depth with local people and listened to all the key stakeholders,” said Weston Homes chairman and managing director Bob Weston. “After many months of hard work on the designs we hope that the new application will be well received by the planning committee and local people of Norwich.”

Image credit | iStock