A house builder is planning a high court battle against housing secretary Robert Jenrick’s decision to refuse permission for it to go ahead with a £271m regeneration project in Norwich.
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick refused permission for the redevelopment of Anglia Square in Norwich (picture: Peter Searle)
Weston Homes and asset management firm Columbia Threadneedle have applied to the high court, asking for a statutory review of Mr Jenrick’s decision to refuse the 1,250-home scheme.
If the court permits it to proceed, the case will be considered at a full hearing, which the firms said is likely to take place in the spring or summer.
The move comes in response to the housing secretary’s decision to refuse permission for the £271m redevelopment of Anglia Square in Norwich city centre, citing concerns about the design of flats and the impact they would have on heritage.
The project would provide 1,250 new homes, including a 20-storey tower, hotel, cinema and new shops.
Labour-run Norwich City Council voted in favour of the scheme in 2018, but the secretary of state then called in the proposals.
Mr Jenrick’s decision to refuse the scheme was counter to the advice of a government planning inspector, which recommended after a public inquiry that he approve the plans.
Bob Weston, chairman and chief executive of Weston Homes, said Mr Jenrick’s decision “flies in the face of government policy on housing delivery and encouraging brownfield-land regeneration”.
He said the decision also “seriously jeopardises” the £15m Housing Infrastructure Fund money already allocated to the development of the site, adding that the government “is not being coordinated” in its decision-making.
The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has been approached for comment.