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Paving in Heritage Triangle to be repaired next month

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The problem area on Market Hill.
The problem area on Market Hill.

Paving in the Heritage Triangle in Diss is to be repaired - and will mean further road closures.

However, the repairs - to replace cracked paving on Market Hill - are scheduled to take place during 14 nights next month to lessen the impact on traders.

Some reported severe losses during the original work and have urged: just get on with it.

Traffic will still be able to use St Nicholas’ Street, Mount Street and Church Street as normal.

In a statement issued today, Diss Town Council, said: "Norfolk County Council have scheduled to carry out remedial works to Market Hill for 14 nights from September 10 between 7pm and 7am. Market Hill will be closed during these hours to minimise disruption to local businesses.

"The works will see the imprint area outside Adkins opticians replaced with new base, binder, bond coat and imprint material.

"New slabs and blister pavers will also be installed to replace those that are cracked."

The Heritage Triangle project began life in 2009 when a bid was submitted to the regional Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to regenerate the Corn Hall, alone.

It was praised, but unsuccessful.

New plans were then drawn up to meet wider national HLF criteria, which encourages community regeneration and heritage promotion.

In total, the Heritage Triangle project, which also included St Nicholas Street, Market Place and Market Hill, received more than £3 million from backers including the HLF, South Norfolk Council, Diss Town Council, Norfolk County Council, local residents and other sources.

It was later shortlisted for several regional and national awards.

Cracks in the pavement on Market Hill in Diss.
Cracks in the pavement on Market Hill in Diss.

Some traders in the area however reported severe losses during the construction work.

Diss Antiques, on Market Place, said the work had been the "final straw" and forced the decision to relocate, while the Gluten Free Food Store in Cobbs Yard, said trade had not recovered after completion, and closed earlier this month.

Diss Town Council said it had been working with Norfolk County Highways to “resolve quality issues” on Market Hill for a "considerable time".

It is understood the problem is caused by the nature of the ground underlying the paving and first emerged during the original work in 2017.

The imprint refers to the hot asphalt method used to give the appearance of cobbles.

The town council said: “This has taken a considerable time because the county council has had to undertake laboratory analysis to determine the causes and has been working with its various sub-contractors to agree a remedial approach.”

Peter Hyde, chairman of the Heritage Triangle Trust, said reaction in the Heritage Traders Group was: “If it has got to be done, get on with it, and do it in the night time.

“If it had been in the daytime and in the run-up to Christmas, the reaction would have been a lot different,” he added.

He said that the imprint working method had always been a “plan B” solution but granite setts, which the group wanted, “would have blown the budget”.

Many of the underground services were so close to the surface that laying foundations for granite would have been impossible.

Diss mayor Trevor Wenman said pipes and services, laid over the years, and discovered during the original work, had not been properly logged, and had caused the problem.

“As with any £3.25 million project, there are bound to be some snags," he said.

“It is annoying for people and a shame it needs going over, but it needs to be done and it is being sorted.

"All the remedial work was covered by the contract and will not result in any further cost to the town," he added.

The town council said: "We apologise for any inconvenience during this time. For any further enquiries, please contact NCC Highways 0344 800 8020."

Norfolk County Council Highways has been approached for comment.

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