Developers withdraw from Norwich Anglia Square court battle


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The developer behind the controversial £ 271million plans to redevelop Anglia Square in Norwich today withdrew from the High Court battle over the proposals and vowed to return to the board drawing.

The ambitious site plan has divided opinions, especially on the appearance of the proposal and a 20-story tower. It also included more than 1,200 new housing units, a hotel, a cinema, parking lots and new shops.

A High Court hearing was due to take place next month because developers Weston Homes and the owners of the Columbia Threadneedle site challenged the decision of local government secretary Robert Jenrick to deny permission for the redesign.

However, Weston Homes confirmed today that it has stepped back from this challenge and will return to the drawing board regarding the redevelopment of the site.

Anglia Square. Photo: DENISE BRADLEY
– Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Bob Weston, President and CEO of Weston Homes, said: “Weston Homes remains committed to crafting proposals that provide a future for the Anglia Square site and for this to be successful we must align with key stakeholders such as Historic England and others. who like us are passionate about the site and Norwich.

“We look forward to working in a friendly collaboration with everyone to create new proposals for this exciting site to achieve the best possible solution for everyone. “

Bob Weston of Weston Homes.  Pic: Archant Library.

Bob Weston of Weston Homes.  Pic: Archant Library.

Bob Weston of Weston Homes
– Credit: Archant

James Rigg, UK Real Estate Investment Director at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, said: “We believe in Anglia Square’s long-term vision. We continue to work with stakeholders with our partner Weston Homes to create a viable future for Anglia Square and to design proposals that meet the aspirations of the community.

The site and its future have been the subject of much debate for years, with proposals finally approved by Norwich City Council’s planning committee in 2018.

But the proposals drew strong criticism from organizations such as Historic England and the Norwich Society, due to the mass and height and its impact on the city’s historic landscape, including the Cathedral of Norwich.

This led to a four-week planning investigation and, after months of deliberation, planning inspector David Prentis said the program should be cleared.

But Mr Jenrick thought otherwise and, in November of last year, rejected the project.

He said the mass of the individual blocks and the tower, and the extent to which the height and mass of the proposal would be “unusual” in the Norwich city center conservation area and did not fit the policy.

He said the benefits of the program were not sufficient to offset the identified “less than substantial” harm to heritage assets.

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