To some, it is a striking and refreshing addition to a classic Norfolk landscape, worthy of TV's Grand Designs show.

To others, it is a modernist monstrosity that resembles the lair of a villain from a James Bond film.

A new house overlooking one of the most picturesque areas on the Broads has split the opinions of locals.

Eastern Daily Press: Rockland Staithe house. Picture: Cameron SelfRockland Staithe house. Picture: Cameron Self (Image: Cameron Self)

The property - made from wood and glass and finished entirely in black - has been built overlooking the dyke connecting Rockland Broad with the nearby staithe, next to the popular Wherryman's Way walking route.

A traditional thatched marshman's cottage was demolished to make way for the new structure and not everyone in the village is happy with the change.

Eastern Daily Press: Archie Taylor's cottage. Picture: Cameron SelfArchie Taylor's cottage. Picture: Cameron Self (Image: Cameron Self)

They argue that building is out of character with the rest of the area, which is made up of brick houses and bungalows, and questioned why the earlier structure was allowed to be torn down.

That cottage was the home of Archie Taylor, a reed cutter and 'last of the old marshmen' who has been compared with great Broads figures like Billy Bluelight and Ted Ellis. 

The home - which shares the same name as the earlier structure, Reed Cutters - was approved in 2017 by planning officials from the Broads Authority.

Because there were no objections from the public or from members, the scheme did not have to debated or approved at an authority meeting. The parish council supported the proposals.

Now the property is built, however, objections have grown.

Eastern Daily Press:

Cameron Self, who runs the Literary Norfolk website, has visited the village since he was a child. He said he was incensed by the new building. 

“I have fond memories of that place as a kid, my friends and I used to cycle from Poringland and hire boats from Archie Taylor and go pike fishing," Mr Self said.

“He was a very special character. He was one of the last of the old-fashioned Broads men. That’s why I’m so horrified by it. 

“We lost hundreds of years of Broads culture to build that monstrosity. 

Eastern Daily Press: Cameron Self Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCameron Self Picture: DENISE BRADLEY (Image: Copyright: Archant 2015)

“When they said they would replace it I assumed it would be a tasteful holiday cottage but it’s like something out of a Bond film.” 

Mr Self questioned how the new house could have been given planning permission, which he said was out of keeping with Rockland and looked more like something that “landed from space”.

Mr Goodson, 62, who has lived in the village for most of his life, agreed, describing the building as “totally out of place”. 

“How it got there, I don’t know,” he said. 

Eastern Daily Press: Archie Taylor PICTURE: EDP archivesArchie Taylor PICTURE: EDP archives (Image: EDP Archives)

A couple visiting the area from Lakenham, who asked not to be named, described it as “shocking”. 

“It’s completely incongruous to the area, how did they get away with that? We came here to enjoy the countryside and this spoils the area.” 

The owner of the property was approached for comment, but declined, saying it was private property and that he was not bothering anyone.

He certainly has plenty of support in the village.

Derreck Yallup said: “I have lived here all my life and I don’t mind it. The building there before used to flood a lot and it’s good to have something modern in the village and the owner is a nice chap.”

Eastern Daily Press:

Stuart ‘Tolly’ Godbold, a boater out walking with his dog Brandy, said: “I don’t mind it at all.

“It’s one of those properties that could be on Grand Designs. 

“I personally like it but then, does it fit in? Possibly not. 

“I think it is a lovely-looking building and not that many people can see it. You have to go by on the boat to really see it. But I can understand why people don’t like it being where it is.” 

Eastern Daily Press: Stuart ‘Tolly’ Godbold, a boater out walking with his dog BrandyStuart ‘Tolly’ Godbold, a boater out walking with his dog Brandy (Image: George Thompson)

Martin Burrekoven-Kalve, who was in the New Inn pub, across the street from the house said it was in a good spot and the owner was a positive part of village life. 

“I think it sits well,” he said, “They are very nice people and you can never please everyone. I think we are quite lucky to have it in our village.” 

A supportive local at the pub added: “If it was in the middle of the street, it might not be right but over there it fits in quite well. It’s a nicely tucked away but each to their own.” 

Eastern Daily Press: Martin Burrekoven-KalveMartin Burrekoven-Kalve (Image: George Thompson)