New shops which would have cost town centre 75 car parking spaces is rejected

Morrisons on Victoria Road in Diss

Morrisons on Victoria Road in Diss - Credit: Rebecca Murphy

A controversial bid to build four small shops, a car wash and tyre change service at the expense of 75 town centre parking spaces has been rejected after vehement opposition.

Morrisons in Diss has filed planning permission to build four retail units, a retail popcar washing

Morrisons in Diss has filed planning permission to build four retail units, a retail popcar washing station and a tyre service area in its car park. Picture: Marc Betts - Credit: Archant

The units would have been in the car park of Morrisons in Diss.

However councillors on South Norfolk Council's development management committee shot down the plans on the grounds that they were a poor layout and would remove too many parking spaces.

Diss Town Council clerk Deborah Sarson, who spoke against the plans, said: 'The units would lead to a loss of car parking spaces and a visual barrier which will significantly compromise connectivity between parking and town centre shopping.'

Mike Bootman, chairman of the Diss and District Neighbourhood Plan steering group, and Peter Hyde, from the Diss Heritage Triangle Trust, both raised concerns over the loss of parking and increased traffic in Diss.

A Norfolk County Council highways report suggested overflow parking could be taken on by nearby Tesco,

However Mr Bootman asked: 'Can you really imagine the manager of Morrisons sending his customers next door?'

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Councillor Keith Kiddie, who represents Diss at South Norfolk Council, claimed the boxy aluminium design of the units proposed by Morrisons was of a poor quality and from the 'East Berlin and Stalin school of architecture'.

His colleague councillor Tony Palmer also pointed out the proposed car wash and tyre change site were proposed for the south eastern corner of the car park and would hinder access to the trail along the River Waveney.

Development manager Helen Mellor acknowledged the application was 'not straightforward' and the planning committee rejected the plans with no votes in favour of the proposals.

After the decision Mrs Sarson said: 'Diss Town Council are pleased that a sub-standard proposal has been refused.

'We support appropriate developments in the right place for the benefit of the whole community.

'However this application would have lost car parking spaces which were required as part of the original consent given to the supermarket.'

Mr Palmer added: 'I am very happy with the result.

'Anyone who knows Diss will be able to work out the traffic isn't good now without the additional retail units.'