Ultimatum issued over eyesore Hoveton hotel

The owner of a derelict hotel in the heart of a Broads tourism hotspot has been given an ultimatum to put in a planning application by the end of the month.

Jon Herbert, who has been accused of making river-front Station Road in Hoveton look like an inner-city slum, has been given the deadline by North Norfolk District Council, which will issue an improvement notice if no progress has been made by then on the Broads Hotel site.

The council's cabinet member for localism Trevor Ivory said: 'It's a disgrace the saga has dragged on and the new Conservative administration in north Norfolk is determined to see progress made quickly.'

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, who has received an enormous mailbag from local residents calling for action on the hotel and another untidy site in Station Road – the riverside rooms leased by the Orchid Group – welcomed the development.

He said: 'This site is an immensely important gateway to the Broads and I would hope Mr Herbert feels a sense of civic responsibility in improving its appearance.'

Mr Lamb has been pressing the council for positive action and called a meeting at the start of the year to discuss issues in Station Road with Mr Herbert and representatives from the Orchid Group, which runs the neighbouring King's Head.

Mr Herbert, both a Norfolk county and South Norfolk councillor, insists the hotel has ceased to be viable, but long negotiations with planning officers have so far failed to agree a replacement use. He has previously stated his refusal to spend money on the site until he gets planning permission, but was unavailable for comment when the EDP tried to contact him yesterday.

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Mr Lamb said he was heartened by positive progress on the riverside rooms site, the Orchid Group's property director Paul Kotrys agreeing to improvement work.

The company had also pledged to seek an occupier for the building, possibly some community use.

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