This month on The Urbanism Hour, Robert Sakula from Ash Sakula Architects and Henrietta Billings from SAVE Britain’s Heritage join us to tell the story of campaigning and consensus-building at Anglia Square in Norwich.

Anglia Square is a 1960s shopping and office precinct in the northern part of Norwich’s city centre. Its retail offer is poor, and many of its buildings are empty.

The redevelopment proposal for Anglia Square replaced the current precinct with a new precinct. It included a new shopping centre, 1,250 homes and more than 1,500 car parking spaces in blocks of 6 to 12 storeys. At its centre was a 20 storey tower.

The subject of much local and national campaigning, a public inquiry and alternative proposals from Historic England, the scheme was eventually scrapped last year by the then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. 

The short but eventful story of Anglia Square in Norwich raises important questions about the planning process, the role of developers-communities-designers-authorities and, ultimately, how to achieve consensus. 

Join us to find out about the campaign and alternative masterplan that changed the outcome for Anglia Square.

Robert Sakula, Founder Partner, Ash Sakula

In his early career, Robert Sakula worked with Clough Williams-Ellis at Portmeirion, David Lea and DEGW. He is a Civic Trust Awards judge, a RIBA Competitions Advisor and an RIBA Awards jury chair. He has taught and lectured at schools in Britain, as well as in Berlin, Stockholm, Oslo, Milan, Portland, Chongqing and Melbourne. He is a member of four design review panels and a RIBA Awards Jury Chair.

Henrietta Billings, Director, SAVE Britain's Heritage

Henrietta is the Director of SAVE Britain's Heritage, a national building conservation charity. She has worked in the planning and heritage sectors for over fifteen years. A chartered town planner with a background in journalism, she is an honorary lecturer at the University of Glasgow School of Social and Political Science and has lectured to post graduate students across the UK in planning and conservation. Henrietta is editor of The Brutalist London Map and co-editor of Tbilisi: Preserving a Historic City. 

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