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Developments in Diss do not infringe on Mere, says South Norfolk Council




A district council has responded to a growing number of residents voicing their opposition to housing developments which they believe to be encroaching on local green spaces.

Residents and community groups from across Diss have continued to rally against new developments around the Mere – in particular a number of dwellings in St Nicholas Street, which were approved back in 2019.

With building work under way, people are growing frustrated at trees being felled around the Mere to make way for new properties.

Brian Falk has claimed that the developments are at odds with South Norfolk Council's own planning policies. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.
Brian Falk has claimed that the developments are at odds with South Norfolk Council's own planning policies. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.

Many have pointed to policy DM 4.4 in the development management policies document of the South Norfolk Local Plan (SNLP), which states: “[The Mere] will be protected from any significant harmful impact arising from new development.”

Brian Falk, from Long View, Bressingham, called it “the latest example of South Norfolk failing to rigorously apply its own local plan policies,” while Peter Hyde, chairman of the Diss Heritage Triangle Trust, asked: “Why does South Norfolk Council disregard its own planning policies, which state that the area around the Mere is an important open green space, and should be protected from development?”

In response, a spokesman for South Norfolk Council said ylast week: “The report that went before the development committee explains the decision regarding DM 4.4 and that report is still available on the council’s website.”

In the planning application for the homes in St Nicholas Street, the council’s development management committee had stated that the build did not infringe on its own policy.

It stated: “The location of the proposed dwellings is such that it lies in relatively close proximity to other buildings to the north and, as such, a significant amount of the garden which forms the bank to the Mere is retained.

“In light of the above, it is considered that the scheme does satisfy the relevant requirement of policy DM 4.4 of the SNLP in retaining the open character and appearance of the site and contributes towards retaining space around the Mere.”



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