Housing and business key to creating ‘thriving market town’

Diss Market in the Sunshine: Picture: Sabrina Johnson

Diss Market in the Sunshine: Picture: Sabrina Johnson - Credit: Archant

New, more 'realistic' goals are to be drawn up for a district's future this week.

Members of Diss and District neighbourhood plan steering group will be discussing the refinement of their aims at a meeting on Monday.

Among the areas of development expected to be prioritised are housing and businesses.

The plan aims to create a blueprint for how Diss and seven of its surrounding villages will develop over the coming years and is unique in that it will operate across two different counties.

In the long run it will be submitted to Mid Suffolk and South Norfolk district councils.

Scole Parish Council chairman and steering group member Graham Moore said: 'I'm doing the revision, getting together data which will be spoken about at the meeting, and only then will it become clear how we are going to proceed.

'We have had our eyes opened by talking to various people about whether things are possible or not.

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'People are expecting us to put something out, so lets put it out in the short term and alter it along the way as opposed to waiting until it is all perfect.

'Housing is definitely going to be in there, as well as allocating land for businesses, discussing the structure of the streets.

'It's just the way the process works. You start off with a wish list, refine it down to what is do-able, and make a short, medium and long-term plan. 'If you don't do that we'll probably take 20 years so we have got to look at what realistically can be done in the short term.'

In addition to Diss and Scole, Burston and Shimpling, Roydon, Palgrave, Brome and Oakley, and Stuston are also on the list of parishes involved in the neighbourhood plan.

More than 85pc of the 830 people who responded to a questionnaire in the spring of 2018 asking for their opinion on the plan said they agreed with its vision for a 'vibrant community centred around a thriving market town'.

It was the first of many public consultations, which set out an initial vision for the district.

At a Diss Town Council meeting earlier in February, steering group member and Diss councillor Eric Taylor urged the council to show its commitment to the neighbourhood plan and give it more support.