Diss councillors want repairs finished by summer

Latest News from the Diss Express, dissexpress.co.uk, @diss_express on Twitter
Latest News from the Diss Express, dissexpress.co.uk, @diss_express on Twitter

Repairs to a footpath which is falling into the Mere in Diss must be completed by the summer.

That was the desire expressed by Diss town councillors at an amenities and properties committee meeting on Wednesday, although there are a number of factors which makes the repairs a complicated issue.

Part of Madgett’s Walk, which links Mere’s Mouth with Diss Park, has fallen away. The walkway was built about ten years ago, but its foundations were not adequate for the silty conditions below, causing the current collapse.

Committee members agreed work should start sooner rather than later on repairing the path, with the hope it could be ready by the summer. The committee considered a report from Stroud Associates Ltd, setting out the recommended methods for repair.

Speaking at the meeting, town councillor Julian Mason said: “We need to get this done before tourists start coming back into the town. We are now in February. We have two or three months to get it done. We have to do it at pace.”

The committee agreed that concrete-filled sandbags, with steel reinforcement anchors, would be the preferred method. The survey will now be used to draw up a tender specification for the repairs. A contractor will be appointed to carry out the work at the next amenities and properties meeting on April 2.

It was also agreed that preventative work should be carried out along Madgett’s Walk to prevent further collapse in the future.

There was no further progress with another Mere issue - the drains. Taking water from the Mere into the Waveney by running underneath the Co-operative store car park, the drains are collapsing, meaning the water level of the Mere rises during wetter periods.

News of a potential Aldi takeover of the Co-operative store on Mere Street means it is unclear who exactly is responsible for the drains. The work is likely to be tackled at the same time as the Madgett’s Walk improvements.

Diss Town Council clerk Deborah Sarson told the Diss Express that the process of securing funding for the repairs, and with both projects running concurrently, means it could be a time-consuming process.

Also at the meeting, the committee noted that a structural survey had been received by the council about repairs to the churchyard walls at St Mary’s Church. Liaison with contractors and the highways authority, however, is required before consideration can be given to implementation and costs.