New alliances seeks action on 'eyesore' vacant building
- Credit: Malcom Allsop
Two villages separated by a river have come together to campaign on joint issues, starting with calls to restore a dilapidated waterside site.
Wroxham comes under Broadland District Council, while Hoveton, just across the River Bure, is part of North Norfolk District Council.
The adjoining villages have separate county councillors, district councillors and MPs, so the two parish councils have formed the Wroxham and Hoveton Alliance [WHA] in a bid to "speak with a single voice" on community issues.
Peter Howe, chairman of Hoveton Parish Council said: "Although Hoveton and Wroxham villages are separate communities with some differing issues, there are many common problems."
The first campaign by WHA is seeking urgent action on a dilapidated waterside site on Station Road in Hoveton which has lain derelict and described as an ongoing problem for 30 years.
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Both parish councils have written jointly to the Broads Authority [BA] and North Norfolk District Council seeking affirmative action. The site is made up of a long disused pub, car parking and boarded up cottages.
A spokeswoman for BA said it had been discussing the site with a potential developer, but details are confidential and it was not able to comment on the current situation.
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Head of planning for BA and a counterpart at North Norfolk District Council spoke to Mr Howe to inform the alliance about the situation.
Mr Howe said: "The old Waterside Rooms in Station Road has been closed for over 30 years and present a disgraceful welcome to the many visitors to the village.
"Hoveton and Wroxham are acknowledged as one of the gateways into the Broads but Station Road does no justice to the national park.”
He added: "The response from the head of planning was quite positive. It is good to know they are taking it seriously and with any luck, some kind of planning application comes forward."
Barry Fiske, chairman of Wroxham Parish council, added: "This problem site is in Hoveton but residents from Wroxham pass by on a regular basis. What despoils part of one village affects us both.
"With the local tourist industry trying to pick itself up after lockdown this eyesore must be removed. We are looking forward to working ever more closely with our friends in Hoveton for the good of our combined community."