Decision due at any time on Diss heritage triangle scheme

Campaigners involved with the Diss Heritage Triangle bid.

Campaigners involved with the Diss Heritage Triangle bid. - Credit: Archant

Plans to regenerate a historic town centre were approved in principle by town councillors, with a decision due imminently by lottery funders on whether to support the project.

Diss Town Council agreed to the proposals contained in the Heritage Triangle project to improve the area around St Nicholas Street, Market Hill and Market Place, which were due to be sent to the Heritage Lottery Fund to decide, possibly as early as Thursday, September 11 on whether to give £1.5m for the scheme.

However, councillors expressed concerns about elements of the project, including Julian Mason, who wanted reassurances that three car parking spaces on Market Hill would not be lost.

Cllr Simon Olander was worried about changes to plans to install lighting as part of the project.

Town clerk Deborah Sarson said the plans were not set in stone and there would be room to change smaller elements in time for when planning applications were submitted to South Norfolk Council.


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She also revealed the council would be able to save more than £297,000 on VAT for the project as VAT was recoverable on non-business aspects, while £30,000 could not be reclaimed.

She said the overall project cost was expected to be £2.95m.

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Cllr Mike Bardwell said: 'This scheme's important. We need to bring people into the town and this scheme is going to bring people into the town, so I support it.'

The council also agreed at Wednesday's (September 10) meeting to match fund the £400,000 South Norfolk Council was proposing to give.

The potential changes include work on the town's Corn Hall providing a foyer, box office, gallery space and a heritage learning zone as well as restoration of the historic fabric of the building.

Work could also be undertaken to raise the carriageway to pavement height, enabling pedestrians to move more freely around St Nicholas Street and Market Hill, while still allowing traffic around the triangle.

A boardwalk is also set to be created across the mere, made from recycled plastic, which will enable walkers to learn more about the wildlife to be found on the waterbody.

What else would you like to see included in the heritage triangle plans? Email dominic.bareham@archant.co.uk.

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