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New, Revised and Small Sites

Representation ID: 17495

Received: 29/11/2018

Respondent: Mr Nigel Frankland


Burston is part of the Diss District plan and would prefer site allocations to come from there. Burston should not have been designated as a service village as it does not meet the criteria.

The specific site has a substantial frontage but does not have much depth, and five houses would be 'cramped' and over-develop the site. The road is not very wide and has no pavements on either side. It is hazardous to walk from this site into the village. If this site and the sites opposite and adjacent are developed the village envelope will increase significantly.

Full text:

This representation is filed on behalf of the Burston and Shimpling Parish Council.

Burston is part of the Diss and District Plan, and would much prefer site designations to be part of that plan.

Initially it is to be noted that Burston may have been incorrectly designated as service village.

We do have a Primary School, but the number of pupils is set to fall dramatically over the summer holidays, and the long term viability of the school is being questioned.

We do have a church, but here again the number in the congregation is small, and I do not think that any of them would disagree with the statement that the average age is over 70, and there are doubts again as to the long term viability of the church. We do have a non-conformist chapel.

We do NOT have a village hall. At the moment we rent the nave of the church for use as a 'quasi village hall' but this option, our only option, is far from ideal, as the building is cold, and many people will not come to the church for any sort of social event. IF the church should be made redundant ( see above) what would happen to the church is uncertain, but in view of the age of the building, the heating and maintenance costs ( it is 500 years old and Grade II listed) , and the limited social use to which it is put I doubt if anyone would take it on the run as a village hall even if it were given to them. The present income from booking fees is less that £1,000 in a typical year, and as a village hall 'rates' would have to be paid, and insurance, and the fee income would not cover those two items let alone anything else.

We do have a pub.

We do not have any pre-school provision at all.

We do have an outdoor recreation ground, with a large area of grass, and the usual 'play equipment' ( swing, slide, etc)

We do not have many community groups. The Friends of Burston Church raise funds for the maintenace of the building, and hold a quiz, a carol service, a 'safari supper' on an annual basis..( but what happens to them if the church is made redundant is a moot point). The Parish Council organise an annual barbeque on the village Green.

There is a monthly luncheon club organised at the church for the elderly of the village.

There is a weekly Youth Club at the Church for 11 -16 year olds on a Thursday afternoon, and another youth group at the chapel for younger children.

There are no uniform groups for no Scouts/Guides etc. There are no adult 'interest groups' such as WI/Horticultural Society/ChoralSociety/Dance Club/ramblers association/ model enthusiasts etc. There are no sporting clubs such as football/cricket/tennis etc.

So, as I have said, we do not have many community groups.

If there were opportunities for employment in the village people would be able to walk there...but there are precious few jobs to be had. The village is in a mainly agricultural area...but the farms are either part of a large estate, which seems to run on a minimal worforce and outside contractors, and a family farm which has two active members of the family, and not much chance of a job there.

The pub is a family concern. They have an employed sous chef, but I believe they only recruit people with experience.

There is Burston House Hospital, a secure psychiatric unit. Staff there are either highly qualified, or are on a zero hours contract at minimum wage, with very few in between. There seems to be a very low turnover.

There is a yoga/massage/physiotherapy studio...but that is run by two sisters with no employees.

There was a business which designed office spaces, but that has closed in recent weeks.

I am not aware of any other employers or potential employers in the village.

In any event, there would be virtually no opportunities for the occupiers of 30 or so new homes. One or two at the most might find a job within 12 months.

As for travelling elsewhere for work onn public transport...there are problems.

If someone has a job in Norwich the 7.14 bus from Burston ( the first bus) gets to central Norwich at 8.30. If you miss it ( or it does not run) there is a two hour wait for the next one. There are buses back at 4.20, 5.20 and 5.55...but none after that. The journey each way is about 1 hour 40 minutes.

If you have a job in Diss the first bus of the day is at 9.16 getting into town at 9.25...and the next bus is at 12.30. The LAST bus back is at if the job was actually at the Bust Station you might just be able to get in four hours of work a day, but if you have to get from the bus station to the place of work even fewer hours would be available.

You might think about catching a train from Diss to Norwich and then get the bus back to Burston, but even then you would have to catch a train by about 4.30 to give time to get to Norwich and get across the town to the station.

Consequently there is a minimal chance of securing a job in the village, and virtually impossible to secure a job in Diss if you rely on public transport, and extremely inconvenient ( and risky) if you rely on the bus to get to and from Norwich for work.

Turning now to the specific site, firstly, while the site has a substantial frontage it does not have much depth, and five houses may represent over-development of the site. The road at this point is not very wide and has no pavements on either side. It is hazardous to walk from this site into the village. If this site and the sites opposite and adjacent are developed the envelope of the village will be increased significantly as an extension to the village along Diss Road will be formed.