It was once a popular haunt enjoyed by thousands of tourists visiting the holiday Broads hot spot of Hoveton each year.

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Now the derelict Broads Hotel, sited on the town’s main Station Road, has been ripped down after North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) slapped an enforcement notice on it demanding action.

The street’s most prominent building, which shut in 2007, is said by many to resemble something from a war-torn city rather than a prestigious hotel from a prime Norfolk destination.

Broken glass has surrounded the half-boarded windows for years, while the fire-damaged roof and ransacked interior indicated anti-social behaviour.

Nigel Dixon, NNDC member for Hoveton, praised the actions of the district council and said the demolition, which began yesterday morning, could not have come sooner.

“This has been a long, protracted battle with the owner of the site who has been less than co-operative both with the community and North Norfolk District Council,” he said.

“The action is being taken by the district council as a direct intervention to remove the buildings which are frankly an eyesore to local communities. For Wroxham and Hoveton this has been a concern for some years.”

The site, as well as the boarded up cottage opposite, is owned by South Norfolk Council member for the Mulbarton division, Jon Herbert.

Mr Herbert took over the hotel in 2003 with his wife Valerie and planned to use its seven-room annexe as holiday accommodation.

In September 2007 plans for 17 two-bed and seven single-bedroom flats went before NNDC, ranging between two and four-storeys high and included 32 residents’ parking spaces.

Hoveton Parish Council opposed the proposal and a further 10 letters of objection were received by NNDC’s development control committee, which halted the plans.

Mr Herbert was then given an ultimatum by NNDC to resubmit a planning application by the end of February 2012 but when that did not happen the council issued an improvement notice.

And in 2012 a unanimous decision was made by NNDC councillors to knock down the building with the condition that the site was cleared within 12 months and building work was started before the end of two years.

Mr Dixon added: “Station Road is quite an important road as many arrive this way into the village.

“For many the first thing they see is the Broads Hotel and therefore some might decide not to bother to park their car or even to get back on the train to go to Sheringham, Cromer or Norwich.

“The demolition is good news for the local people and very good news for the businesses in the village.

“There is widespread satisfaction it is being dealt with and is on course to be cleared before the tourist season.”

Mr Dixon said the emphasis would now be on clearing the site as soon as possible and protecting it until further action could be taken. He added that similar action would be taken on the cottage opposite, also owned by Mr Herbert.

“The local authority will use its full range of powers to drive the site forward in a constructive way to help the community.”

Mr Herbert has always insisted that the hotel, which first opened in 1923, has now ceased to be viable. He has previously stated his refusal to spend money on the site until he gets planning permission, but was unavailable for comment when contacted yesterday.

Long negotiations with planning officers have so far failed to agree a replacement use for the Broads Hotel site.

What do you think? Email nnn.letters@archant.co.uk

6 comments

  • Its strange what is now an eyesore was once a place where people were guests,staying,visiting, eating,enjoying the facilities !

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    Albert Cooper

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Whilst the owner of the site might well be critical of council interference in his business affairs, I had long considered this site an eyesore and a tragic waste of a valuable resource. So, well done NNDC.

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    Mr. Raspberry

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • whatever happened to the planning permission for the wine bar etc not that its wanted but you only have to look at the takeaways that have gone up on the bridge in the same time-span to see that planning is a farce,as visitors you only have the kings or the wroxham hotel its no wonder tourism in this area is in decline people need to be able to enjoy holidays in their own way not dictated to as to where you go and when!

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    terence comer

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Not before time. This building should have been made good or pulled down years ago. The Council should have had the guts to attended to this slum years ago. Not good for the holiday trade or local business.

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    paul sergent

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • The whole of the bridge area and beyond is run down, the tacky looking takeaways shops sit against a back drop of poor historical planning decisions. The 'precinct' is vile! Nb as a local resident who regularly shops locally and uses the takeaways (!) i am definately not criticising the shopkeepers products or their service just the whole look.

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    superluckycat

    Sunday, March 23, 2014

  • You have to laugh don't you, NNDC rejected the owners plans to expand the business and then 5 years later issue demands for business improvement plans. I don't blame the owner for forgetting about it, what a joke. I wonder what supermarket the NNDC can blame for the demise of the villagetown centre?

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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