Diss Town Council says it could have spoken up about a controversial development in Bressingham had it been consulted beforehand — but believes the proposal may also show the need for measures in its Neighbourhood Plan.
The debate has raged on over the potential impacts of a major application by Openfield Agriculture for a £10 million expansion at Harvest House in Low Road, Bressingham, which gained approval from district planners last month by seven votes to two.
Diss Town Council leader Graham Minshull, who is also a member of South Norfolk Council’s planning committee, was one of the two to vote against the plans, citing concerns that heavy goods vehicles travelling to and from the site would have knock-on effects on the traffic of Diss’ notoriously busy A1066 road.
Deborah Sarson, town council clerk, said the district council had no obligation to inform them, as the application was not in their parish, but they would now seek to factor the development into their Neighbourhood Plan.
“It would have been helpful if we had been informed about the application, given the impact it could have on the A1066, which is already a problem,” she told the Diss Express.
“We as a town council are unable to do anything now, except that it will give added weight to anything that comes forward in the Neighbourhood Plan.”
The lengthy formal process to bring forward the Neighbourhood Plan is expected to begin in 2017, and the town council said it would be working with neighbouring parishes, including Roydon, Burston and Shimpling, Scole, Stuston and Palgrave.
Meanwhile, Bressingham-based businessman Mervyn Lambert, a vocal opponent of the Harvest House plans, who intends to file for a judicial review of the application, has continued to criticise the planning process, and said there were “so many failures” that caused him and his neighbours “significant concern”.
He claimed Diss had to “wake up as to what will happen” to local traffic as a result of the development, stating: “There is no proposal for a bypass of Diss and before long, Victoria Road will simply be a lorry and car park and will be at a complete standstill.”