Tesco disappointment for Diss councillor

A DISTRICT council leader spoke of his disappointment after supermarket giant Tesco submitted a planning application that could scupper the regeneration of a prime part of Diss.

ADISTRICT council leader spoke of his disappointment after supermarket giant Tesco submitted a planning application that could scupper the regeneration of a prime part of

Diss.

Officials from South Norfolk Council unveiled a "masterplan" last year for a multi-million-pound redevelopment of 28 acres south of Park Road, to include new homes, shops, businesses and leisure use.

But the scheme took a new twist after it emerged that the commercial arm of Tesco had submitted proposals for its own retail development at the former Hamlin electronics factory.


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Spen Hill Developments, which owns the redundant industrial site, is gauging public opinion on plans for shop units, a caf� and replacement bus station.

The proposals include the development of the former Hamlin site, which has been redundant for two years, and land to the east, which includes a furniture shop and the town's present bus station.

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The application throws a spanner in the works of South Norfolk Council's own scheme for the area to expand the town centre and connect it with the River Waveney by creating 200 new homes, a hotel, sports centre, retail area and riverside walks.

The district council also intends to

re-route Park Road to resolve the town's traffic problems.

John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said it was disappointing that Spen Hill Developments was acting alone.

"We are planning a once-in-a-

lifetime masterplan for the next generation with retail, residential, environmental and traffic in a comprehensive plan. A piecemeal development does not address those issues.

"There is nothing wrong with the development arm of Tesco putting forward a screening opinion, but we are halfway through the process and Diss deserves better than an anonymous retail park," he said.

Local district councillors Tony Palmer and Glyn Walden spoke of their disappointment about the

plans at a meeting of Diss Town Council.

Town councillor John Maskell added: "That is the most important site we have in Diss. We need to get it right this time."

A statement from Spen Hill Developments on the South Norfolk Council planning website said the proposed development would be of modest scale and would be reached by a new roundabout in Park Road.

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