Anglia Square in Norwich is under constant review it seems. It currently occupies a huge parcel of land to the north of the city centre and, in its time, was probably a revolutionary design. Work began on it in 1970 and was sort of completed in 1976, but stopped. Perhaps that epochal heatwave caused it be ceased? It is in the brutalist style of architecture and though Norwich’s summers are long and winters dry and mild, workers and users of the complex complained about its design. It was and partly is still open to the elements.
A modern visitor, only familiar with the city centre of Norwich, may be surprised by Anglia Square. It does contain some budget shops, a car dealer, a huge car park and an iconic, or ugly, tower, depending on your views. Weston Homes acquired the site in 2018 but plans for a 25 storey block of apartments were rejected by Robert Jenrick and the area is locked in inertia.
There’s no doubt though that the area is attractive for investors. It sits near the St Crispin’s flyover, has a huge demographic of people in NR3, the so-called Silver Triangle, and there is space for residents and commercial interests.
There are plans to rename the area – Calvert Square – in the regeneration plans for the site. In 2018, these included 1200 homes, of which 120 will be affordable, a major supermarket, hotel, green squares and central courtyards, along with a 20-storey tower. The project is opposed by Historic England, civic watchdog the Norwich Society and the Dean and Chapter of Norwich Cathedral, presumably because the Norwich skyline is a beautiful one, with most apartments clustered along the Wensum with two 60s tower blocks at Normandie and Winchester Tower, away from the centre.
There’s little doubt that Norwich remains an attractive place to visit and live. Developers, and Norwich estate agents like Sefftons, are seeing unparalleled demand for quality homes in and around Norwich city centre. It has its own micro property hot spots already – Thorpe Hamlet, Trowse, Sprowston, Thorpe St Andrew, the Golden Triangle and Cringleford and Eaton are always areas in high demand.
With Covid prevalence easing though, the city centre itself seems to be having greater footfall and surely it won’t be too long before Anglia Square, or Calvert Square, becomes an area of rejuvenation just to the north of this fine city.
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