Plans by architect Ash Sakula commissioned by heritage campaigners in opposition to Weston Homes’ proposals

Ash Sakula Architects has published alternative proposals for the redevelopment of Norwich’s 1960s Anglia Square.

The move follows continued opposition to Broadway Malyan’s latest plans for the site – after its original 1,200 redevelopment scheme was rejected by then secretary of state for housing Robert Jenrick in November 2020.

Developer Weston Homes returned with lower-rise plans for the 4.7ha site earlier this year. They would deliver 1,100 homes in blocks of up to eight storeys – a significant cut on the original scheme’s hugely controversial 20-storey tower.

However campaign group Save Britain’s Heritage argues that the latest proposals – which are due to be determined by Norwich City Council later this year – are still out of keeping with the historic character of Norwich city centre.

Historic England commissioned Ash Sakula to design alternative proposals for the site for the planning inquiry that informed Robert Jenrick’s decision to reject the original Weston Homes and Broadway Malyan plans. That scheme proposed 595 low-rise homes.


Broadway’s Malyan’s original 2018 designs for the site included a 20-storey tower, which has been removed in the new proposals

Save commissioned the practice to update its proposals in response to the development team’s latest plans, and said the results now delivered 773 dual-aspect homes in blocks no taller than four storeys that “build back” the area’s historic street pattern, which was lost in the 1960s.

The group said the reworked vision also retained the cluster of historic buildings at the southwestern corner of Anglia Square that had survived both Second World War bombing and the area’s major redevelopment in the 1960s.

Three of the buildings are the subject of bids submitted to Historic England for potential listing, and include recently identified site of the 11th-century Anglo-Saxon church of St Olave’s.

Anglia Square 4

Part of Broadway Malyan’s latest proposals for Anglia Square

Ash Sakula founding partner Robert Sakula said the practice’s proposals – which feature predominantly two-bedroom apartments – were an opportunity to show what was possible for the Anglia Square site.

“In the 1960s Norwich took a wrong turning in the redevelopment of Anglia Square,” he said. “Now, in 2022, it can either repeat that mistake for a second time, or put it right by repairing and reconnecting Anglia Square with its surroundings.”

SAVE director Henrietta Billings said Norwich did not have to settle for “identikit blocks with dark, one-bed flats”.

“We are proposing a new human-scaled neighbourhood of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes, all dual-aspect with private outdoor space, community facilities and local shops – spaces whose characterful streets would be uniquely Norwich,” she said.


Source: Ash Sakula Architects

Ash Sakula Architects’ proposals for Anglia Square in Norwich (July 2022 version)

SAVE said Weston Homes’ latest proposals were still out of scale with the two- and three-storey buildings that form part of Norwich’s City Centre Conservation Area.

It said that even the latest proposals from Weston Homes and Broadway Malyan would cause “substantial harm” to the area.

When its new plans were submitted in April, Broadway Malyan said they drew from and referenced the “past and present character” of Norwich.


Source: Ash Sakula Architects