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South Norfolk planners consider proposals for three homes overlooking the Mere




South Norfolk planners gathered in Diss today to consider proposals for three new homes overlooking the Mere.

Council officers had recommended approval of the homes but the decision was deferred for a site visit at the councils development planning committee last month.

The original plans were strongly opposed, but the developer behind the scheme changed them from flats to three homes in the hope of winning favour.

Members of the South Norfolk development management committee at the Mere's Mouth today. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.
Members of the South Norfolk development management committee at the Mere's Mouth today. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.

Diss Town Council and the Heritage Triangle Trust opposed the first proposals, which were described by objectors as a cross between a “monolithic lump” and a "Swiss Family Robinson-style ski lodge, in Diss".

Others felt the development behind 22A St Nicholas’ Street was out of character with its locality, overlooked neighbouring properties and would have an adverse effect on the community garden behind the town council offices and the Mere boardwalk.

South Norfolk Council planning officers also raised concerns at first that the development was too large and would harm the views across the Mere and the setting for a number of listed buildings.

The scaled back, amended plans however were recommended for approval by South Norfolk Council officers ahead of a meeting of its development management committee on June 21.

The latest images of the proposed Mere-side homes. Image KD Architects/South Norfolk Council
The latest images of the proposed Mere-side homes. Image KD Architects/South Norfolk Council

A report said that the seven objections lodged against the amended plans argued the scheme had not addressed initial concerns.

Although the Heritage Triangle Trust said it was not against the principle of developing the site, it argued for two houses instead of three, sited further away from the boundary with the community garden.

“A development that enhances the wildlife garden would be welcomed, indeed the trust would welcome working with the developer on the lower part of the plot to enhance its value to both wildlife and the Diss community,” the trust said.

A pigeon's eye view of what the development would look like
A pigeon's eye view of what the development would look like

The planning officer’s report says the original proposals had evolved, and that the bulk and footprint of the building had been reduced and, after revisions to the roof, windows and facing materials, the scheme was sympathetic to the conservation area.



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