Setback for Diss link road

A long-running campaign to ease rush-hour congestion in Diss has received a major setback after plans were submitted that would block hopes of a new link road.

A long-running campaign to ease rush-hour congestion in Diss has received a major setback after plans were submitted that would block hopes of a new link road.

Town councillors and business leaders called for action four years ago to improve traffic flow by opening up access on a notorious cul-de-sac.

But hopes of opening the northern end of Vinces Road to alleviate pressure on the traffic-choked A1066 Victoria Road have been dashed by a new planning application.

National house builder Persimmon Homes has submitted plans for 120 flats and houses at a 3.4ha area of farmland off Frenze Hall Lane on the eastern edge of Diss - five years after outline proposals were first submitted.

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However, the developer has ruled out the creation of a link road between Frenze Hall Lane and the Vinces Road industrial estate because it is not supported by county highways officials.

The news has been met with frustration by local councillors and businesspeople who say the creation of two routes into Vinces Road would improve the town's infrastructure. Concerns have also been raised about the plans for 120 new homes - 30 of which would be affordable - that would be accessed via Frenze Hall Lane and Sycamore Way.

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Workers on Vinces Road endure a lengthy wait during the evening rush-hour as they wait for a gap in the traffic at the busy Victoria Road mini roundabout.

Simon Olander, town councillor, said a new relief road was 'dead in the water' if the Persimmon plans got the go-ahead.

'Diss Town Council and most of the residents do not want access through Sycamore Way; they want it from Vinces Road. Traffic has increased in the town over the last five years and we need solutions. We want to encourage more businesses up there and many are put off because of the poor transport links,' he said.

Andrew Thurston, of Lyndale Compact Furniture Specialists and Diss Business Forum member, said the traffic situation in the area was 'horrendous' and could cause companies to relocate.

'It has even deterred new staff from working with us because it is such a bottleneck getting out of it. This would also help our businesses and it might ease traffic on Victoria Road,' he said.

Nick Culley, managing director of Midwich, also based in Vinces Road, said staff often faced a 20 minutes wait to drive on to Victoria Road after leaving the office.

'It would make a lot of sense to have two routes in and out of Vinces Road. It is normally a nightmare,' he said.

But John Birchall, spokesman for Norfolk County Council, said the creation of a link road between Vinces Road and Frenze Hall Lane would 'make matters worse' in Diss with HGVs using a narrow road, which is well-used during the school run.

Residents have until June 28 to air their views on the Persimmon Homes plans.

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