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Historic England objects to plans for 25 storey tower in Norwich

Historic England has objected to proposals for a 25 storey tower in Norwich city centre as part of a planned redevelopment of Anglia Square, in its advice to Norwich City Council today (17 May).

We believe plans for three large blocks of up to 12 storeys and one 25 storey residential tower replacing the current 1960s buildings are at odds with the city’s unique heritage.

The proposed tower would be in a part of the city which historically did not have tall landmark structures and would be far taller than any other building there. It would also be highly visible in views over the city which feature landmark historic buildings, detracting from them and the historic cityscape.

John Neale, Historic England Planning Director in the East of England said:
"Norwich is one of the great historic cities of England and Europe. While Anglia Square is in need of redevelopment, a tower as tall as the cathedral would be alien and inappropriate. We believe plans for the square could be developed in a different way which would still unlock public benefits. Norwich deserves better."

The proposed scheme would have a severe negative impact on the city centre conservation area, many important listed buildings and to the character of Norwich as a whole.

The tower would intrude in views across the city whether from the castle, in Tombland, or within the cathedral precinct. From outside the city centre, from higher ground such as Mousehold Heath, the view of the city in the valley with the landmark cathedral, castle and city hall would be disturbed by the prominence of the tower.

Anglia Square has the potential to deliver new homes, office space and retail and we are not against development, however we agree with the Council for British Archaeology and others that the proposed scheme is not the right scheme.

We hope to see the application withdrawn and are keen to discuss with the developers and Norwich City Council how Anglia Square might be redeveloped in a way more sympathetic to the character of this great historic city.

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