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Traders fear new apartments would lead to 'construction chaos'

PUBLISHED: 11:11 13 August 2019

Access to planned new apartments overlooking Diss Mere would be via the narrow Tudor House Yard. Picture: Simon Parkin

Access to planned new apartments overlooking Diss Mere would be via the narrow Tudor House Yard. Picture: Simon Parkin

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A development to build modern flats on sloped land overlooking Diss Mere would lead to "construction chaos" opponents of the scheme have claimed.

Visualisation of proposed housing development next to Diss Mere. Picture: KD Architects/South Norfolk CouncilVisualisation of proposed housing development next to Diss Mere. Picture: KD Architects/South Norfolk Council

Developers want to demolish an existing garage and two storage buildings behind the Happy Palace Chinese restaurant on St Nicholas Street and build three-storey apartments.

A decision on the application, which had been recommended for approval, was previously deferred by South Norfolk Council's development management committee to enable members to carry out a site visit.

It was put off again last month to allow the developer time to put forward a plan on how they would manage lorry movements and noise disruption during construction.

Revised designs for the housing development next to Diss Mere that show its reduced scale from those previous proposed. Picture: KD Architects/South Norfolk CouncilRevised designs for the housing development next to Diss Mere that show its reduced scale from those previous proposed. Picture: KD Architects/South Norfolk Council

Access to the site would be through the narrow Tudor House Yard and traders have raised fears extra traffic would impact on their businesses.

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Alan Rowe, a partner at Albright of Diss, said: "The proposed development of three large properties has the potential to add many more adults and children, and many vehicles, all trying to negotiate through a very narrow access area with a blind bend at its central point.

Visualisation of proposed housing development next to Diss Mere. Picture: KD Architects/South Norfolk CouncilVisualisation of proposed housing development next to Diss Mere. Picture: KD Architects/South Norfolk Council

"With this proposed development there is a potential for many cars to try to pass through from both directions at the same time. The resulting mayhem would make trading in the yard quite intolerable."

Ray Bryant, from Denmark Street, who spoke against the plans at last month's development management committee meeting, said: "The houses are excavated into the hillside of the Mere requiring extensive and noisy piling and approximately 650 cubic metres of spoil to be removed from site.

"All these vehicles will need to go all the way round the Heritage Triangle to access the site. There will be a massive disruption to the traders, pedestrians and anyone visiting the Heritage Triangle at that time."

The size of the planned two four-bedroom apartments and a three-bedroom apartments were scaled back by developers earlier this year but have still been met with strong opposition over concerns about its impact on the neighbouring Heritage Wildlife Garden.

Diss Heritage Triangle Trust has said it would significantly damage the wildlife garden but added it is not against development in principal suggesting the scheme be reduced further to two dwellings situated further away from the garden boundary.

Diss Town Council, which has opposed the plans citing objections including the traffic impact, has also said it would welcome the opportunity to discuss a more modest development.

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