DISS & DISTRICT NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN STEERING GROUP
STATEMENT – ENTHUSIASTIC CHAIRPERSON WANTED

The Diss and District Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group would like to announce that because of the recent resignation of Independent Chairman Mike Bootman it is seeking a new chairman or chairwoman to take the Plan forward. Mike has ably managed it through its early stages and the Steering Group is immensely grateful for his dedication and leadership. Now that the Plan is entering a new phase the Group is looking for someone with time, energy and enthusiasm to take on this important role; expressions of interest from residents within the Plan Area or business leaders in particular are welcome. The Plan Area includes Diss and the six surrounding parishes of Scole, Burston & Shimpling, Roydon, Palgrave, Stuston and Brome & Oakley.

Key issues have been identified through a survey conducted earlier this year and a successful business summit was held in May chaired by South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon. While transport and traffic congestion are universally recognised as pressing concerns for both residents and businesses alike, the main thrust of the Plan must now focus on housing and infrastructure, and establish a framework for local control. Therefore, the next phase will engage with local authorities and plan for growth in Diss and surrounding parishes in a way that reflects local capacity and need.

Anyone who is interested should contact the Interim Independent Chairman,
Cllr David Burn, on 01379 788712 or 07889 301414, or e-mail david.burn@midsuffolk.gov.uk

Now available – Written Comments from the Public Consultation

When we carried out the public consultation earlier in 2018, around 500 local residents, businesses and others responding to the survey included written comments on the Vision and Draft Themes.

Some of these were long, running to several sides of A4, while many wanted to make their views known on more than one topic. The comments included opinions, suggestions, criticisms and counter-proposals. Some just simply wanted to express support for the Plan whilst others were sceptical that anything would ever come of it.

It has taken us some time to review all of the comments, analyse them and put them back together under the headings of each of the Draft Themes. That task is now finished and all of the valid written comments are now available for you to read through. The document runs to 46 pages and it is perhaps not surprising that most of the content is about traffic and community-related issues.

You can open or download the full document here: Public Consultation Collated Written Comments 2018
We hope to produce a synopsis of the main points of agreement or contention for each of the Draft Themes which will help inform future work on the Plan – and be easier to read.

Previously published documents relating to the Public Consultation include:
Draft Vision and Themes – Consultation Document
Public Consultation Summary Report April 2018
Survey Data Summary April 2018

Now Available – Summary Report of the Business Summit

A summary of the Business Summit held on 18th May is now available. It summarises the event and, for those unable to attend on the day, the Appendices also include copies of the slide presentations and notes from the three workshop sessions. The outcomes are also summarised here:

Key points – Barriers to Change

Infrastructure in general and the A1066 in particular have not kept up with recent growth – without correcting this not only will Diss be unable to support further growth but it may well begin to decline.
Lack of leadership and consensus and lack of collaboration with business and community inhibits the potential to identify and bring about changes.

Current pattern of development, constrained by railway, river and artificial administrative boundaries, has created more problems that in solves.

Key points – Enablers to Change

A clear vision for the future of Diss and surrounding area, helped by a clear sense of what it can offer by way of location, surroundings, community and business spirit – develop an unique identity and ‘brand’.

Gain recognition from local authorities and LEP as to local economic and housing growth opportunities, especially in providing the housing of the types and tenures that locally are in short supply.

Make the town centre more attractive and vibrant; create differentiators in local retail and hospitality offerings to offset current downtrends. Improve circulation and parking, better use of local features.

Key Action(s)

Provide leadership; create a clear vision and identity and market it; ensure the infrastructure deficit is addressed; identify the right sites for growth and ensure the requisite infrastructure accompanies them.

What can you do?

If you represent a business, professional organisation or a trader then your views are important too. Do you agree with the above? Do you have other ideas? Would you like the opportunity to discuss them? Would you like to help shape the future of the town and surrounding area? If so please contact the chairman of the Steering Group through the info@dndneighbourhoodplan.co.uk e-mail address.

 

 

 

Anyone resident in and any business operating in the Neighbourhood Plan Area is welcome to contact the Steering Group either by e-mail to info@dndneighbourhoodplan.co.uk or by post to Diss Town Council (Lead Council), 11-12 Market Hill, Diss, IP22 4JZ.

 

You can also sign up for updates through this link.