Busy Diss road will be re-opened in time for Christmas rush

A busy access road into a Norfolk town will now be re-opened in time for the lucrative festive shopping season after a developer backed down on plans to close the road until Christmas.

Barconn Ltd, the contractor working on behalf of Persimmmon Homes, had originally wanted to close Frenze Hall Lane, Sandy Lane and Walcot Green in Diss until December 23, much to the consternation of business chiefs who feared the impact on Christmas trade.

However, following a meeting with the town council on Monday, the contractor has now agreed to apply only to close Frenze Hall Lane until December 9, in time for the peak pre-Christmas rush. The other two roads will not be closed at all.

In October, the EDP reported how the developer had erected road closure signs at the end of the three roads without apparently getting Norfolk County Council's permission first.

The closures were needed to enable road widening and drainage installation associated with a 120 home development in Frenze Hall Lane. Further works to installation sewage works in the section under the railway bridge will be needed in the new year.

A dispute then ensued after the developer claimed an application had been sent, but the county council denied receiving it, saying it was unlikely to have been left on an employee's desk.

In the meantime, business chiefs including Jenna Cox, marketing officer for the Diss Business Forum, spoke of their concern about the closures, especially as traders were already having to deal with the effects of the economic downturn.

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However, on Monday the developer had a change of heart following the meeting with town clerk Deborah Sarson, Adrian Stout, the county council's street works co-ordinator and Mervyn Lambert Plant Ltd Traffic Division.

Ms Sarson said: 'We are pleased that it has been possible to reach a compromise with all parties to ensure the best possible outcome that meets the needs of the developers while reducing the potential significant impact on the towns' traders.'

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