MP joins battle to restore Norfolk Broads street to former glory

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb has joined the battle to get the dilapidated Station Road area of Hoveton back to its former glories.

North Norfolk district councillor Nigel Dixon led the calls in May this year when he spoke to the Evening News, but the situation has still not improved.

The street's most prominent building, the Broads Hotel, continues to resemble something more suitable to a war-torn city than a popular summer tourism village like Hoveton and Wroxham.

Broken glass surrounds the half-boarded windows of the building, the roof is fire damaged and the ransacked interior clearly indicates a popular site for anti-social behaviour. Along with three other boarded up buildings – formerly the Riverside Rooms and outbuildings of the King's Head pub – Station Road is unattractive for people when walking into the village from Hoveton and Wroxham railway station.

Mr Lamb was this week part of a group of influential local people to visit the area and set wheels in motion to get the ugly situation sorted. He said: 'Wroxham is a gateway to the Broads and is the village that anyone coming to the Broads sees when they come to the area. It is a really important location for giving people a good impression of the Broads.

'But the Station Road site is an absolute eyesore and the Broads Hotel is the worst of it all. Station Road looks disgraceful and this has gone on long enough, it is time it was sorted out.'

The site, as well as the boarded up cottage opposite, is owned by Norfolk county councillor for the Forehoe division Jon Herbert.

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

In September 2007 plans for 17 two-bed and seven single-bedroom flats went before North Norfolk District Council, ranging between two and four storeys high and including 32 residents' parking spaces. Hoveton Parish Council opposed the proposal and a further 10 letters of objection were received by North Norfolk District Council's development control committee, which halted the plans.

Since then the building has been left to rot, but Mr Lamb, along with representatives from the Broads Authority, Visit England and North Norfolk District Council, have sent a letter to Mr Herbert and the owners of the other dilapidated buildings.

What do you think should be done about the derelict site? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email