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Plan for a new 27-bedroom hotel in Diss sparks concerns

Thatchers Needle - Diss
Thatchers Needle - Diss

Several groups have voiced their objections to plans for a new 27-bedroom hotel and five retail units in Diss.

Pub-chain Marston’s wants to build a hotel, five retail units and a car park for 154 vehicles on the site of The Thatcher’s Needle pub.

Commenting on South Norfolk Council’s planning portal, Diss Town Council said: “This application represents too significant an impact on the viability and vitality of the town centre. There is also concern about the impact on traffic.

“The application pre-empts the neighbourhood plan, which has acknowledged this site as significant.”

The Heritage Triangle Trust has objected to the plans, citing concerns with the “potential impact on and relationship to the historical trading centre of Diss”.

The neighbourhood plan steering group has called the plans “ill-considered” and “prejudicial” to reducing traffic, developing community-based facilities and access to the Waveney River Valley.

Peter Rollin, owner of Park House, Mere Street, said: “I am marginally in favour as it will bring additional employment to the town and make use of an otherwise derelict area.”

Tony Palmer, district councillor for Diss, also gave his support for the development.

He said: “I am supportive of the hotel, which will provide much-needed visitor capacity.

“However, approval must be conditioned to ensure that the hotel is constructed, and that the retail units are not constructed without it.”

Planning permission for a 60-bed hotel and public house was granted in 2011, only for the plans to be abandoned.

A bid by Marston’s to build four retail units at the site was turned down in 2015, and again on appeal in 2016.

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