Town could get 179 new homes and cemetery expansion

Spring sunshine around Diss Mere.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018

Spring sunshine around Diss Mere. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A bid to build more than 179 homes in a Norfolk market town has raised concerns among locals.

Around 20.7acres - roughly 14 football pitches - on the edge of Diss could be developed under proposals submitted to South Norfolk Council (SNC).

The plans, on land between Shelfanger Road and Heywood Road/Burston Road, would see 179 homes, plus a new road built. The scheme also includes an area of public open space and 1.58acres of land for the expansion of Diss Cemetery next to the site.

With a population of around 8,600 in mid-2019, when the plans are completed they would increase the population of the town by around 5.5pc - to 9,076 - if all homes were filled.

The plans include 33pc affordable homes and a mix of styles, with 26 flats, 12 bungalows and 141 houses.

The site has been included in the Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP) as a 'preferred option' for development.

The GNLP requires a minimum of 400 new homes to be built in Diss by 2038 to meet the region's housing need.

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Following the pre-application discussions with SNC, the developer Scott Properties held a public consultation in October last year.

The site is just to the north of the Diss cemetery

The site is just to the north of the Diss cemetery - Credit: Google Maps

In response, 59 people gave feedback, with 32pc supporting new homes in Diss, 46pc against and 22pc not sure.  

Comments covered a variety of issues including impact on roads, the size of the development and the size of the cemetery.

Responders said the development could add to congestion in the town, increase rat-running and has poor access.

Scott Properties responded saying the site will deliver a new road, with access designed in consultation with Norfolk County Council, who will also be consulted on the planning application.

Over concerns there was not enough affordable housing in the plan, the developers said the 33pc was compliant with SNC policy and increased the number of bungalows in the plan to meet demand.

They added the number of houses per hectare - 21 homes - was in line with the surrounding area and would not be overdevelopment of the site.

Others questioned if enough land was included for the cemetery, but the developers said the plan would add another 25 years' worth of burial space, which would extend the space available until 2085.

In its submission to SNC, the developer said the scheme will provide economic, social, and environmental benefits, including generating support for local businesses, employment and a biodiversity net gain of at least 10pc.

The application can be viewed on the SNC planning portal, reference 2021/2782.

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