Boulevard plan for extended town centre

An ambitious plan to redevelop one of the most important areas of Diss met with a positive response at a public meeting this week. The multimillion proposals would enable the town centre to expand further south, and create 200 new homes, an hotel, sports centre, retail area, and riverside walks on land between Park Road and the River Waveney.

An ambitious plan to redevelop one of the most important areas of Diss met with a positive response at a public meeting this week.

The multimillion proposals would enable the town centre to expand further south, and create 200 new homes, an hotel, sports centre, retail area, and riverside walks on land between Park Road and the River Waveney.

Park Road would be rerouted further south, with the existing carriageway turned into a tree-lined boulevard providing a pedestrian link between the park and the new facilities, which include plans for an improved bus station and areas of open space.

South Norfolk Council unveiled the proposals in the Mercury earlier this month, putting its 'masterplan' on display at a three-day exhibition last week visited by between 500-600 people.


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Council leader John Fuller said: “Now is the right time to be planning to develop this eyesore and to link the beautiful River Waveney with the mere. Planning now will enable us to crack on straight away when the upturn comes. With this plan in place, there is no reason why Diss should not become the finest town in Norfolk.”

Cllr Martin Wilbye, who chaired Tuesday's meeting, said about 80 people attended and the vast majority were in favour of the proposals.

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The land includes the former Hamlin's factory site, now owned by Tesco, which has stood empty for years and the current bus station.

“The general response was that this is a great idea. A few concerns were raised about traffic and the balance between retail shops and the exiting retail shops in Mere Street, and the residential element. Generally, everybody would like to see some big improvements down Park Road.”

South Norfolk's cabinet will give its views in December, and further consultations will take place early next year before the final scheme is put forward for inclusion in the authority's local development framework.

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