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Town council opposes plans for 94 homes on possible new school site

PUBLISHED: 10:20 02 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:24 02 September 2019

The entrance to Walcot Hall Nursing Home in Diss next to land where there are proposals for 94 residential dwellings. Picture: Simon Parkin

The entrance to Walcot Hall Nursing Home in Diss next to land where there are proposals for 94 residential dwellings. Picture: Simon Parkin

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Proposals to build almost 100 houses next to a nursing home have been dismissed as "speculative" by town councillors who have accused developers of trying to pre-empt local plans.

Land next to Walcot Hall Nursing Home in Diss where there are proposals for 94 residential dwellings. Picture: Simon ParkinLand next to Walcot Hall Nursing Home in Diss where there are proposals for 94 residential dwellings. Picture: Simon Parkin

Outline planning permission is being sought for up to 94 residential dwellings on land north of Walcot Rise in Diss by AAH Planning Consultants on behalf of Land Allocations Ltd.

The application that would see 3.25 hectares of open fields being developed has drawn more than 50 objections from local residents.

Issues raised range from the effect on traffic and local infrastructure to its proximity to the adjacent Walcot Hall Nursing Home for the elderly and terminally ill.

Indicative site layout for proposals for new homes on land off Walcot Rise in Diss. Picture: AAH Planning Consultants/South Norfolk CouncilIndicative site layout for proposals for new homes on land off Walcot Rise in Diss. Picture: AAH Planning Consultants/South Norfolk Council

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Diss Town Council has now added its voice to concerns and has opposed the plans in its submission to South Norfolk Council pointing out housing developments on nearby Frenze Hall Lane have already led local residents to campaign for better infrastructure.

They state: "This is clearly a speculative attempt to get in a planning application before the Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP) allocates sites to a new local plan, more importantly before the emerging Diss and District Neighbourhood Plan is completed."

Walcot Rise in Diss where 94 homes could be built. Picture: GoogleWalcot Rise in Diss where 94 homes could be built. Picture: Google

It points out the council's submission to the GNLP had suggested the land be earmarked as a possible site for a new Diss infant and junior school.

"This would give the possibility of shared facilities and resource with the adjacent high school," they add. "We also stated that without major improvements in infrastructure and the road network, development of this site for residential use could not be supported."

A transport study that has been submitted as part of the application predicts the development would generate 47 morning and 52 evening journeys and argues that Walcot Road and its junction with Frenze Hall Lane would cope with the extra traffic.

In their own planning statement, the developers said: "It can be seen that this proposal will offer a quality development, contributing to a mix of housing stock within the vicinity in a manner that would complement and enhance the character and setting of the local area, whilst remaining compatible with the surrounding land uses."

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