Diss Mere boardwalk needs new approval from planners

Diss, Norfolk. The boardwalk across Diss Mere which is currently under construction. 

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE
Diss, Norfolk. The boardwalk across Diss Mere which is currently under construction. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Retrospective planning permission is needed for the new boardwalk at Diss Mere.

Part of the £3.4million Heritage Lottery-funded Triangle Project, the boardwalk aims to give visitors a unique new perspective of one of the town’s gems – the Mere.

It is not our intention to do anything that contravenes planning law

Sheila Moss King, programme manager

Planning permission was originally granted to Diss Town Council in 2014 by South Norfolk Council.

But a change of materials means the boardwalk must be re-aligned.

Programme manager Sheila Moss King insisted the changes were not “significant”. She added she was “very excited” about the boardwalk being completed – believing it will be a “real draw” for people to the top end of town.

“The contract was awarded as a design-and-build contract, because of the specialist nature of the implementation,” she said.

“That means that when we first submitted our planning application, our designs were conceptual, awaiting expert input. Now we have it, from AGA Bioengineering Services of Merton Ponds in Norfolk.

“The original concept was for Millboard, a composite boarding, on the deck and along the edges of the floating element. However, that’s too heavy, so we had to revert to timber, which needs to be kept away from the water.

“Other than that, and in terms of appearance, it looks the same – Millboard looks like timber. We have had to change the alignment of the boardwalk for a number of reasons, but mostly because we can’t tether it back to land where we wanted to do so.”

She added: “It is not our intention to do anything that contravenes planning law.”

South Norfolk Council cabinet member Lee Hornby said. “On most occasions, if retrospective planning permission is required, the Council will work with the applicant to recommend changes that might make the application acceptable.

“If retrospective consent is denied, the authority can ask for the structure to be taken down.

“If this happens, the applicant can appeal to the Planning Inspector.”