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Mystery over future of Diss green

PUBLISHED: 13:00 22 July 2010 | UPDATED: 20:24 01 August 2010

Mystery surrounds the future of a town jewel after it emerged that Fair Green in Diss would not be sold at auction today .

A question mark was placed over the green earlier this year after its owner put the historic site up for sale after being unable to pay its escalating maintenance bill.

Mystery surrounds the future of a town jewel after it emerged that Fair Green in Diss would not be sold at auction today .

A question mark was placed over the green earlier this year after its owner put the historic site up for sale after being unable to pay its escalating maintenance bill.

The registered town green, which has been a popular place for walkers, picnickers, families, and gamers for more than 600 years, had been due to be sold to the highest bidder at the Diss Auction Rooms today.

But the future of Fair Green remained a mystery last night after officials from agent TW Gaze confirmed that the site was not in the auction.

All interested parties have taken an oath of silence as discussions continue behind the scenes over the green, which was placed on the market with a £45,000 price tag.

The area, which has been hosting travelling circuses and funfairs since it was granted a Royal Charter in the 15th century, was put up for sale by the Diss Parochial Charity in March. The charity, which runs four almshouses in the area, made the decision after Diss Town Council declined to renew the lease of the green under its existing terms.

The town council is currently maintaining the green and wild flower meadows, but does not want to take on the responsibility of looking after the roads that border the site.

Oliver Chapman, head of commercial property at TW Gaze, confirmed that Fair Green would not be featuring in today's land and property auction.

“There is quite a lot going on behind the scenes and we will release more information when we get it,” he said.

Rachel Baker, chairwoman of the Fair Green Neighbourhood Association, which is attempting to buy the site for the benefit of local residents, was also tight-lipped.

“I know what is going on, but I am not allowed to say. Nothing is signed or sealed,” she said.

David Cooper, chairman of the Diss Parochial Charity, also declined to comment.

Deborah Sarson, town clerk, added that the council would continue to maintain the green space in the interim and would be willing to come to an arrangement with a new owner. She added that site was protected from development and enclosure.


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