An evaluation looking into the potential environmental impacts of a 100 home proposal in Diss has been launched, after a local firm expressed its intention to develop on one of its prominent business sites and relocate.
South Norfolk Council has begun a formal screening opinion process, following the announcement by farming services organisation Frontier Agriculture that it was preparing an outline planning application to construct approximately 90 to 100 properties at its current premises, located off Sandy Lane.
Preliminary discussions indicate the development would require a complete clearance of the site, which is currently comprised of various administrative, storage and laboratory buildings, car parks, vehicle circulation areas and a number of large crop storage silos.
A design and access statement by planning director David Miller stated Frontier’s operational needs were an “obvious anomaly” to Sandy Lane and the surrounding area, and suggested the company might seek to relocate to a more suitable location.
“The site is extremely prominent and gives rise to a very significant and striking impact upon the street scene in this part of Diss,” the statement read.
“Observations made in the countryside surrounding Diss suggest that operations of this nature, with a major requirement for mass storage and significant HGV movements, ought to be located on a dedicated business park.
“The heart of a market town such as Diss is clearly not at all an appropriate location, hence the driver for Frontier to be able to relocate elsewhere.”
The Diss Express contacted Frontier Agriculture, but they were unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.
However, Diss town mayor Keith Kiddie stated building homes on the Sandy Lane site would conflict with South Norfolk’s Local Plan for development, although judgement would be reserved until a formal application has been submitted.
“I would be genuinely surprised if they are given planning permission for housing there,” said Cllr Kiddie.
“The area around the ground silos is all marked for employment. These things can be changed and altered and each plan is considered on its own merits, but a huge effort has been put into the Local Plan.”