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Grasmere plans fail to win support

PUBLISHED: 13:59 11 June 2009 | UPDATED: 11:07 12 July 2010

Altered plans for the redevelopment of the South Norfolk Conservative Association headquarters in Diss have failed to secure the backing of civic leaders.

ALTERED plans for the redevelopment of the South Norfolk Conservative Association head-quarters in Diss have failed to secure the backing of civic leaders.

Officials submitted rejigged designs for a flats development at the Grasmere building in Denmark Street last week.

But town councillors are still calling on South Norfolk Council to refuse the demolition of the community building and the con-struction of 14 mereside apartments after the amended proposals failed to overcome concerns.

The new plans incorporated arches into the design of the flats and changed the height and roofline.

Jon Herbert, treasurer of the South Norfolk Conservative Association, told councillors last Wednesday the changes to the "controversial application", which were made by Norwich-based Feilden and Mawson, were in response to consultation and public concerns. He added the redesign offered people a "glimpse" of Diss Mere from Denmark Street.

"We have consulted English Heritage in great detail and I believe this is a fantastic building and a significant improvement on the building that is there," he said.

But Diss Town Council members said the amendments had not resolved the lack of car parking for the proposed site or fully addressed the loss of views of the mere.

Simon Olander said: "It is a large piece of open space and I appreciate you have to get bang for your buck, but it is still a loss of a public amenity."

A petition signed by more than 1,200 people has already been sent to South Norfolk Council against the demolition and redevelopment of the 1960s building, which is used by the Grasmere social club and is also the constituency office for South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon.

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