COLUMN: Richard Bacon MP says: ‘Chance for developer to work with Diss’

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon
South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon

Readers will know that Persimmon’s bid to put 142 houses on land off Frenze Hall Lane has been rejected on design grounds.

Although we do need more housing across Norfolk, Diss residents were quite right to be concerned about how such a development will fit into the town and impact on Diss’ roads and health services.

Although we do need more housing across Norfolk, Diss residents were quite right to be concerned about how such a development will fit into the town and impact on Diss’ roads and health services.

It is now up to Persimmon whether to revise these plans, appeal to the Planning Inspectorate or both. However, this pause represents an opportunity for Persimmon to work with the town council and local residents to deliver a development that respects Diss, making it an even more beautiful place to live.

I have written to Persimmon’s MD in this region, calling on him to seize this chance. I’ll let you know what he says.

RIGHT TO BUILD

Last week, I hosted an event at the House of Commons to trumpet a key part of my Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act coming into force.

From 1 April, every local council in England has to keep a register of individuals and groups who are looking for a serviced plot upon which they can build their own home.

The more names there are on the register, the more local councils like South Norfolk have to make allowances for self-builders in their housing policies. That’s not all. By the end of this year, councils will have a duty to grant enough planning permissions for serviced plots to reflect the demand on the register.

If you like this idea, you can add your name to the South Norfolk register by going to: http://www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/planning/7215.asp.

CORNUCOPIA II

It was a great pleasure to attend the grand opening of Cornucopia II in Harleston recently.

The brainchild of Glen Philpott and David Charles, Cornucopia now occupies two prime sites in Harleston, the Corn Exchange and the old Duke William pub.

I was impressed by the size of the crowd that had gathered for the opening, and astounded by the variety of wares on offer in both sites.

It’s good news for Harleston that these landmark buildings are back in use and it’s also heart-warming that they are such a good fit for the town; they represent exactly the quirky independence of spirit that is Harleston’s trademark.

Well done to David and Glen, not only for growing their business in a tough climate, but also for their steadfast support for Harleston.