Diss Express column - December 2016

You may recall that I guided into law the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015, which started life as my Private Members’ Bill. 

The Act requires councils to keep a register of individuals and groups who want to build their own homes.  Further changes in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 now mean that councils must ensure there are enough serviced plots to meet demand on the register.

This legislation came into force at the end of October and South Norfolk is the most popular area in the county for would-be self-builders. 

Building your own home may seem daunting but self-builders have greater choice and get more for their money.  If you’re interested in building your own home, please visit the council website for your area of choice and sign the register.

Park Road Units Rejected
Independent shops in Diss will be breathing a sigh of relief after a planning inspector threw out pub chain Marston’s bid to build four out-of-town retail units on Park Road.  As Marston’s couldn’t or wouldn’t say who would occupy these units, Diss retailers couldn’t plan for the future – or even know if they had one.

I objected to the proposed units because South Norfolk Council had declined to enforce its own policy to assess the impact these units would have on Diss town centre.  The council claimed a study wasn’t required but the inspector agreed with me that the council’s own policies said otherwise.  Diss Town Council was staunch in its defence of the excellent Heritage Triangle project.  

Marston’s say they are considering their next move.  I will be watching them.

EACH Nook Appeal
I recently paid a visit to East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) in Quidenham to visit the facility and to discuss the charity’s Nook Appeal. 

During my visit, I met some of the children and families receiving care at Quidenham, and I was humbled to learn more about the magnificent work EACH does every single day. 

The Nook Appeal will provide a new purpose-built facility in South Norfolk, offering the same facilities to children and young people in this county as families in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex are already accessing through EACH. 

I am delighted to support the Nook Appeal and I look forward to welcoming the EACH family to my constituency.

Finally, I would like to wish all Diss Express readers a Happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous 2017.


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