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Consultation opens into controversial plans for historic green space

PUBLISHED: 11:06 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:47 16 July 2019

An artist impression of the 24 retirement bungalows proposed for Parish Fields in Diss. Picture: Scott Property Group

An artist impression of the 24 retirement bungalows proposed for Parish Fields in Diss. Picture: Scott Property Group

Scott Property Group

A public consultation has opened on proposals to build on Parish Fields in Diss amid a campaign by a group opposed to development.

Parish Fields in Diss could be developed into a complex of 24 retirement bungalows. Picture: Simon ParkinParish Fields in Diss could be developed into a complex of 24 retirement bungalows. Picture: Simon Parkin

Scott Properties, who are proposing building 24 retirement bungalows on the historic green space, also known as The Lawn, between Shelfanger Road and Mount Street, are asking the public their views.

Residents got their chance to see development proposals in detail at an event at Diss Youth and Community Centre on Monday and have until 8pm on July 29 to register their views online.

The Parish Fields Friends group, which was formed locally to help preserve and protect the historic part of the town's green heritage, has urged people to register their views and has launched a petition that has gained more than 1,000 signatures.

The two proposed options for retirement bungalows on Parish Fields in Diss that are part of the public consultation. Picture: Scott Property GroupThe two proposed options for retirement bungalows on Parish Fields in Diss that are part of the public consultation. Picture: Scott Property Group

The petition, called Parish Fields Forever, urges Diss Town Council to use their powers to prevent construction of new houses on Parish Fields, though any planning application would be determined by South Norfolk Council.

The petition states: "Parish Fields is an area of old parkland meadow in the heart of Diss. It is a precious part of the town's distinctive character and a big asset for local wildlife. In fact, Parish Fields is the town's green heart. John Betjeman in 1964 called it 'a little bit of country coming right into town'.

"Parish Fields is something special in Diss, and we should not trash it for the sake of just another up-market housing development. It deserves much better than that. There is plenty of locally available brownfield and low-sensitivity arable land that should be developed first."

Essex-based developers Scott Properties first outlined its vision for the land at packed meeting of Diss Town Council in January and had promised to hold an extensive public consultation to take on board local concerns before submitting a planning application.

The consultation includes two proposals; one for 24 two and three bedroom bungalows, with a communal building and publicly accessible open space; the second for the 24 bungalows as well as an area of land safeguarded for the potential future expansion of The Lawns Medical Practice and a public open space.

- Find out more about the proposals and give feedback at www.diss.mscott.co.uk until 8pm on July 29.

Site location plan for the proposed development of Parish Fields in Diss. Picture: Scott Property GroupSite location plan for the proposed development of Parish Fields in Diss. Picture: Scott Property Group

- Find the petition by visiting Parish Fields Forever

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