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‘What a waste of money’: Costly repairs to street paving 18 months after it was laid sparks frustration

PUBLISHED: 10:39 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:39 31 August 2018

Cracks have appeared in paving on Market Hill in the Diss Heritage Triangle after just 18 months. Picture: Simon Parkin

Cracks have appeared in paving on Market Hill in the Diss Heritage Triangle after just 18 months. Picture: Simon Parkin

Archant

Work to repair paving on a heritage project in a South Norfolk town is to be undertaken less than 18 months after it was first installed.

Market Hill in the Diss Heritage Triangle where repair work is to be undertaken. Picture: Simon ParkinMarket Hill in the Diss Heritage Triangle where repair work is to be undertaken. Picture: Simon Parkin

Improvements to the streetscape in Diss Heritage Triangle, including benches, pedestrian areas and planters, were undertaken during April and May last year at the cost of about £500,000.

Now repairs to replace paving stones that have broken and cracked will take place over 14 nights from September 10. The work is being done between 7pm and 7am in an effort to minimise disruption after businesses had complained the original construction had hit trade.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: “We are working to get the problem with the surface fixed as quickly as possible. Since we raised concerns last year that there were issues with the surface we’ve done a lot of work, including lab testing samples of the surface, to investigate the cause of the problem. While it may never be possible to establish the exact cause, what is certain is that the damaged surface needs to be replaced, and work to do this is due to start next month.

“A more robust specification will be applied to these remedial works as a result of the investigations we’ve carried out and discussions with the contractor.

Paving on Market Hill in the Diss Heritage Triangle to will be repaired. Picture: Simon ParkinPaving on Market Hill in the Diss Heritage Triangle to will be repaired. Picture: Simon Parkin

“We are talking with the principal contractor to establish who’s liable for the costs of the necessary repair work.”

David Fielding-Gooderham, who runs No. 13 antiques shop on Market Hill, saw his takings fall by 30 to 40% during the original work but is hopeful overnight repairs will avoid a repeat.

He said: “It’s obviously not good news but hopefully because they are doing it at night it won’t have such a drastic impact on us.

“What a waste of money though. It’s crazy that they couldn’t get it right the first time. They rushed into it without thinking it through. People still park there which is probably one of the main causes but that is because of problems with parking in Diss generally.”

Work to install street improvments in the Diss Heritage Triangle in April 2017. Picture: Lucy BegbieWork to install street improvments in the Diss Heritage Triangle in April 2017. Picture: Lucy Begbie

The £3.4m Heritage Lottery-funded Heritage Triangle project, which also covers the Corn Hall restoration and Mere boardwalk and gardens, as well as the streetscape, was short-listed in prestigious awards organised by the Royal Town Planning Institute.

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