May 26 2013 Latest news:
By kathryn bradley
Saturday, June 30, 2012
A derelict hotel in the heart of a Broads tourism hotspot is to be torn down within the year after the owner received planning permission to build 17 flats on the site.
During a planning meeting on Friday, North Norfolk district councillors unanimously approved an application to demolish the Broads Hotel in Hoveton to make way for 17 apartments with underground parking.
The approval comes with the condition that the site is cleared within 12 months and building work is started before the end of two years. A Section 106 contribution towards an off-site play area was also requested.
The hotel has been closed since 2007 and has become run down. Its owner Jon Herbert, who is both a Norfolk county and South Norfolk district councillor, had been accused of making river-front Station Road look like an inner-city slum.
Speaking after the meeting, North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said he was delighted by the decision. Mr Lamb, who has campaigned for action on the hotel after receiving complaints from local residents, said: “I am delighted we have finally got this breakthrough. It has taken a long time, far longer than it should have done. Now it has to happen. It is both an eyesore and dangerous and we need to get it demolished.”
A previous application for 24 apartments and car parking on the site was rejected on appeal in October 2007 after councillors said the four-storey development was too high.
Richard Smith, of MPS Property Consultants, addressed councillors on behalf of the hotel owner.
He said he had been working with planning officers to address concerns of councillors and members of the public.
He said: “We have reduced the height of the building by one storey. This has allowed us to reduce the number of apartments to 17 and the development now sits more comfortably within the street scene.
“It is a high quality development and we hope it will kick start the regeneration of Station Road.”
An oak tree at the entrance to the site is to be replaced as part of the scheme and councillors requested it was kept in place until building work had started.