Wroxham and Hoveton Work Together

Wroxham and Hoveton are communities on either side of the River Bure joined by historic Wroxham Bridge. Yet authorities such as district councils, Members of Parliament and even the police separate the two communities. Now the Parish Councils in both villages have joined together to try and get a better deal for their residents.

Wroxham, one side of the Bridge comes under Broadland District Council’s control. While its immediate neighbour, Hoveton comes under North Norfolk. Land that joins the River Bure which divides the two communities is the responsibility of a third, unelected, body — the Broads Authority which controls planning on riverside development. Though the two communities share so many elements of infrastructure such as medical services, shops and even a railway station each has a separate member of parliament — Norman Lamb, Lib Dem for Hoveton and Keith Simpson, Conservative, for Wroxham. Thy also have separate county councillors.

The situation is made more acute by the confusion of visitors to the capital of the Broads.

As Cllr Barry Fiske Chair of Wroxham Parish Council commented: “Most visitors think Hoveton is actually Wroxham. It’s hardly surprising when the famous Roys of Wroxham, which dominates shopping in the community, is actually in Hoveton. On the banks of the Bure by the river bridge sits the well known Hotel Wroxham — which is also in Hoveton. No wonder people are confused.”

Cllr Martin Richmond chair of Hoveton Parish Council commented: “Hoveton are Woxham are two distinct villages with their own identities and proudly so. We are however one community, with shared infrastructure and local services. Roads, public transport, schools, shops, banks and medical facilities are shared resources and have to serve the whole community. Development in either village puts increased pressure on these shared resources.”

Now the two parish Councils have joined together to form the Wroxham and Hoveton Joint Action Group to try and cut through some of the bureaucratic red tape and to speak with a single voice as they try and get the separate authorities that control them to work more closely together for the betterment of the joint communities.

Cllr Richmond added: “As pressure on these authorities increases to release land for development it is ever more important that community representatives, like our two Parish Councils, work together co-operatively to protect the identities of these precious villages and to represent the interests of the whole community. How we respond to proposed development is not the only issue that binds the villages together, both Parish Councils want to build a greater sense of community, to develop more events and initiatives that bring the villages together in meaningful and progressive ways that will benefit residents and attract visitors.”

Cllr Barry Fiske commented: “The problems that beset Hoveton also largely affect Wroxham as well such as the massive congestion on the main road through the two villages the A1151. If housing development takes place in ether community then it puts added strain on facilities that we both share such as the doctors surgeries and schools. And yet we have the crazy situation where three local authorities have a say in how our joint communities grow and develop. Even Norfolk police divide us. Wroxham and Hoveton have separate beat managers. It’s a crazy situation.”

The Joint Action Group’s first target is noise and pollution cause by the volume of traffic using the A1151. A recent study showed half a million vehicle movements in just over two months passing through the two villages. Both parish councils are concerned about air quality issues and will be asking Norfolk County Council to investigate.