Weston Homes has cancelled its plans to redevelop the 4.65ha Anglia Square site in Norwich after eight years of development due to a range of issues that have impacted the scheme's viability and made funding extremely difficult. The landmark Anglia Square regeneration was set to bring significant inward investment and new jobs to Norwich. It was planned to include up to 8,000m2 of non-residential floorspace for retail, office and leisure purposes, along with a community hub, community hall, and new employment space for a range of businesses.
The work and consultation led to the successful Resolution of Grant Planning in April 2023, and the creation of a local scheme. Weston Homes has withdrawn from the project due to seven key issues, which caused delays in the project, and additional costs, and negatively impacted its financial viability.
The proposed redevelopment of Anglia Square faced several issues and delays, including planning delays and related costs resulting from national government intervention. The COVID-19 pandemic and reduced market demand further delayed the project, and a Nutrient Neutrality directive blocked the building of new homes in Norfolk. Weston Homes faced a €6.3m tax bill on the final two phases of the development, and the design guidelines of the Building Safety Act (2022) resulted in the loss of 100 homes from the proposed scheme. These issues and the costs spent on design, redesign, and consultation over seven years eventually resulted in Weston Homes cancelling plans for the redevelopment.
Bob Weston, Chairman & Managing Director of Weston Homes said: “It is with deep regret that after eight years of hard work, substantial staff time and resources and some £7.5m (€8.8m) of capital expenditure, Weston Homes has been forced to cancel our plans for the redevelopment of Anglia Square. I am personally gutted to have to write off millions of pounds of company investment and not have a new scheme to show at the end of the venture. Weston Homes has bent over backwards to make this work, and we have worked closely with Norwich City Council and the people of Norwich to try and realise a scheme that meets both local aspirations and is financially viable. I would like to add that throughout the eight-year process, Norwich City Council cabinet and officers have worked tirelessly to facilitate the redevelopment of Anglia Square.”
Image provided by Lawrie Cornish.
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