Rat-run fears end Diss road link plan for car park
A proposed 60-space car park which could have provided a road link from Station Road to Nelson Road in Diss will now only act as a route for pedestrians if approved after amendments were made by the applicant.
A planning application was submitted in June for the car park, located at the former coal yard near the station.
Diss Town Council’s planning committee met in August to discuss the original proposal, backing the plans subject to the recommendation of including a footpath.
And, meeting again on Wednesday to discuss the amended plan, they again recommended approval, but the committee reiterated their desire to make the car park ‘safer’ for pedestrians using the link by building a delineated footpath.
The plan was amended following comments from Norfolk County Council’s highways department.
The change means cars would only be able to access the new parking facilities from Nelson Road. Pedestrians, however, would be able to use the parking as a link between Nelson and Station Road.
Highways said the initial proposal was “not favoured” as they claimed it could encourage drivers to use the car park as a “rat-run”.
South Norfolk Council will have the final say on the plans.
District councillor Tony Palmer, who said in August a link road could open up some “exciting possibilities”, told the Diss Express: “I would have liked to have some way in the plan of a link for vehicles to Nelson Road and Station Road, but realistically on reflection, it would not have been very practical to have vehicles running through a car park.”
Mr Palmer added he would like to see a link road from the station forecourt to Nelson Road, as well as a footpath for pedestrians, and hoped funding could be boosted by Section 106 contributions.
“Anything that improves access to the town is good for the town,” he said. “I am very happy with the plan. It means it takes a bit of pressure off Station Road as well. Also, there has been a problem with cars building up on Nelson Road to avoid car parking charges but it makes their route simpler for that side. If they have got proper parking without having to go into Station Road to get to the car park, it does make sense.”