Growing concern in Diss over 142 homes plan

More than 65 residents attended a Diss Town Council planning committee meeting to offer a recommendation on Persimmon Homes' plan for Frenze Hall Lane. ANL-160402-163912001
More than 65 residents attended a Diss Town Council planning committee meeting to offer a recommendation on Persimmon Homes' plan for Frenze Hall Lane. ANL-160402-163912001
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More than 65 people showed up at a town council planning meeting to voice concerns about lack of infrastructure in the face of a revised housing estate bid in Diss.

The Diss Town Council committee meeting was held for councillors to offer a new recommendation for a revised application from Persimmon Homes for 142 properties on land north of Frenze Hall Lane.

All we hope to achieve are simple changes to the plans that are modest, but offer the best solution for Diss

Nick Woods

The council has upheld its recommendation of refusal in its draft response, saying “insufficient amendments” had been made to “satisfactorily address” the concerns raised.

In their initial recommendation in December, they objected due to the impacts on the roads as well as the effect of construction traffic, medical provision and school places.

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, town councillors, and the Parish Fields Practice Patient Participation Group are just some of those to express their concerns that Diss cannot cope with extra homes unless improvements are made to the town’s infrastructure, while all 72 public comments on the South Norfolk Planning Portal object to the proposal.

Nick Woods, 55, of Diss, who was at the meeting, said: “All we are trying to do is improve the plans to provide a better highway, access and local amenity benefit for Diss, insomuch as no more houses until there are improved services and infrastructure to cater for it.

“No one objects to building as long as the town can cope with the demand.

“I know the town council, councillors and local MP (Richard Bacon) are very supportive, but we are small voices within the machinations of planning. All we hope to achieve are simple changes to the plans that are modest, but offer the best solution for Diss.

“The residents just want to be able to enjoy a residential amenity, with no detrimental impact on doctors, schools and highways.”

The Diss Express understands some concerned residents are due to meet to decide a course of action in an attempt to oppose the application and get the best deal for Diss. But the principle of development on the site has been established by the adoption of the Local Plan by South Norfolk Council, which Diss Town Council objected to in consultations in 2012, 2013, and to the Planning Inspector in 2014/15.

Persimmon Homes has advised Diss Town Council they are preparing a construction traffic management plan to better understand the impact, and are working with Norfolk County Council on the delivery of the pavement to the south of Frenze Hall Lane, Walcot Green junction 
visibility improvements, and safety improvements at the bridge.

South Norfolk Council will have the final say on the plans.

The agenda for their next planning meeting, scheduled for March, is likely to be drawn up in the next seven to ten days, according to a spokesperson, although they were unable to confirm whether the Frenze Hall application would be decided upon.