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Diss woodland-for-all bid on course

PUBLISHED: 09:41 09 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:43 12 July 2010

PLANS to create a community woodland at Diss are set to become a reality after district councillors agreed a change of use for an agricultural site on the edge of town.

PLANS to create a community woodland at Diss are set to become a reality after district councillors agreed a change of use for an agricultural site on the edge of town.

Winning planning consent was a major hurdle for the local group, set up to oversee the venture two years ago. It means they can now proceed with plans to buy meadowland at Factory Lane, in Roydon, with the aim of providing an amenity area and wildlife habitat that people of all ages can enjoy.

“There is one more final procedure, and that is to complete the purchase as we couldn't do so until we got the planning consent. Obviously everyone is highly delighted that

we have got to this stage,”

said Richard Pither, secretary of the Diss Community Woodland Project. “We are poised to complete the purchase and we hope to be in possession of the land at the end of the month.”

He said Diss Rotary Club members initially came up with the idea of creating the new facility.

“The woodland group was set in June 2006 with the specific purpose of finding a site. We were looking at something on the edge of town and when this came up we were very excited as it is an ideal site,” he explained.

Diss and Roydon parish councils both backed the scheme, district planners also receiving seven

letters of support from residents.

One described the initiative as

“a superb use of the land” that

will benefit everyone and

the countryside, an asset and an amenity.

There was one objection from a neighbour concerned that the car parking area would affect their privacy.

Mr Pither had contacted residents living in the vicinity earlier this year to explain about the project and invite them to a public exhibition, held in May, to find out more.

He said: “This is intended to be a fun project and we want to involve as many people in the community as possible.”

The group is particularly keen for children to participate in the creation and eventual management of the wildlife amenity, learning traditional skills along the way. The woodland will be planted using a variety of native trees over a period of several years, and no existing trees will be removed.

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