Diss Heritage project thwarted as newly-laid tiles crack and have to be relaid
PUBLISHED: 15:19 28 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:32 29 July 2017
A £3.4m ambitious project to show off a market town's heritage has hit problems with tiles that have been laid having to be relaid.
Revamping the streets and roads in the historic quarter of Diss was estimated to cost £600,000 and disrupted the town for three months.
But just as works were drawing to a close and residents and businesses breathed a sigh of relief, tiles that had just been laid started to crack.
Long-time resident Mark Anthony Ling, who has lived in Diss since he was 13, is disappointed and furious with the result, he feels the whole thing has not been thought out.
He said: “This is a heritage triangle and now we have turned a heritage triangle into modern stainless steel benches made with Amazonian timber.
“As you come up Market Hill why are half the ribbed tiles cracked and being replaced?
“Everything was a disruption to a town centre that didn’t need what they’ve done - I’m more than disappointed, they’ve made a right cock up.
“I like Diss but I don’t like what they are doing to Diss.”
“We have a beautiful natural Mere, the second oldest in the country, but now we have a man-made plastic structure floating on it.”
Town clerk Deborah Sarson, who is pleased with Diss Heritage project overall, admits there have been issues with the quality of some of the streetscape workmanship.
“At the end of the day we expect a quality standard and the town council has been working closely with the highways authority and their contractor Tarmac to ensure a quality finish,” she said.
“There have been some issues with the standards of workmanship with the imprints, and these are being discussed with the sub contractor.
“Where necessary areas are being relaid.”
As well as the work carried out on St Nicholas Street, Market Hill and Market Place the project has included renovating the grade 2 listed Corn Hall.
And a new wildlife friendly garden and floating boardwalk at Mere’s Mouth is currently being created.
The boardwalk will have plastic floaters, covered by a wooden walkway with rail handles- the council aims to open the gardens in mid August.