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Flats overlooking Diss Mere approved

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Controversial modern flats overlooking Diss Mere have been approved by councillors, despite opponents claiming the development would “scar Diss for our descendants”.

Developers applied for permission to demolish a garage and two storage buildings and build three-storey flats behind the Happy Palace Chinese restaurant in St Nicholas Street.

The scheme was initially delayed for a site visit and the creation of a construction management plan, but was recommended for approval by council officers.

What the development will look like.
What the development will look like.

At a South Norfolk Council planning committee meeting on Tuesday, October 15 opponents of the scheme raised vehement objections as they cited the potential impact on the area’s natural beauty and the livelihood of traders.

Council chairman Graham Minshull said: “I say to the committee: seriously consider what you’re actually putting here for the future, for our descendants.

“What we put here will inevitably scar Diss for the future.”

He added: “Traders are all hanging on by a thread and I think this will push them over the edge.

“The view is absolutely critical. You don’t want to be plonking a great big modern building slap bang in the middle of it.”

Eric Taylor, chairman of Diss Town Council’s planning committee, said: “It’s detrimental to ecology and won’t contribute anything to biodiversity. It would disrupt the normal business of the courtyard and be a real threat to the livelihoods of the traders.”

Planning agent Keith Day, on behalf of the applicant, said traffic would enter and exit the courtyard at the end of the working day to minimise disruption, while a cleaning regime to limit mess from soil resurfacing would be in place.

Planning committee vice-chairman Lisa Neal said: “While I hear people’s concerns, in planning terms, there seems very little that we can legally refuse it on that would stand up on appeal.”

The application was approved by fives votes to one.

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