An upmarket pub on the Norfolk coast is facing a backlash from locals over its plans to keep its marquee up all year round.

The award-winning White Horse in Brancaster, a popular area for second home owners, has expanded in recent years to create an outdoor dining area covered by canvas, offering diners a view across the vast salt marshes.

But its growing success has left neighbours frustrated at the number of cars parked up on the roadside, and also sparked complaints that the marquee's lights are ruining views of the night-time sky.

Eastern Daily Press: Manager Rob Williamson with the marshside marquee in the backgroundManager Rob Williamson with the marshside marquee in the background (Image: Archant)

The White Horse currently has permission to erect a marquee between March and October as part of its outdoor marsh-side bar area but it now wants to be able to keep it up through the winter.

This has reignited complaints from locals, who objected in their droves to the original retrospective planning application which was approved last year. 

Villagers are not impressed, calling it "absolutely hideous", complaining it has ruined the dark sky area due to light pollution and that high visitor numbers parking on the road continue to cause "extreme difficulties" for locals.

But for the business, the covered dining area has proven a big hit with visitors and led to it increasing its workforce to cope with demand. 

Rob Williamson, general manager, gave reassurances it would not be used for outdoor dining as some objectors have suggested and the application argues the marquee is "small and discreet" and can be quickly dismantled.

The application last year was met with 50 objections, with opponents calling it a "blot on the landscape" and that it ruined the view in what is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The parish council, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England and the Norfolk Coast Partnership also voiced their disapproval.

READ MORE: White Horse named one of the best gastropubs in the country

Eastern Daily Press: A view across the saltmarshes outside the White Horse in BrancasterA view across the saltmarshes outside the White Horse in Brancaster (Image: Newsquest)

However, the plans gained 80 letters of support but locals argued most of these were from second-home visitors who are not affected year-round.

READ MORE: Holiday let owner takes on council after being ordered to pull down her boathouse


Eastern Daily Press: Lobster served from the marshside barLobster served from the marshside bar (Image: The White Horse)

The row with the restaurant - which draws visitors from across the UK each year and is a popular hang-out spot for second homeowners - comes amid growing tensions in the community.

Brancaster has one of the highest rates of second home ownership in the country with more than 130 per 1,000 homes owned by out-of-towners.

It has prompted a backlash, with locals frequently using West Norfolk Council's planning process to voice their frustrations.

Bids to build new homes are often met with objections based on fears they will end up being sold either as holiday lets or be bought as a coastal getaway by people not living in the village permanently.

In recent years, revolts against second homeowners have led to changes to planning regulations in nearby communities in Blakeney and Burnham Market which block people from buying new builds unless it is their permanent residence.

READ MORE: Council tax could double for Norfolk second home owners

But for businesses in the area, the summer visitors help keep them afloat with some fearing they would not survive if they had to rely on locals alone.

READ MORE: Businesses in Burnham Market furious over second home ban

The recent vote in Burnham Market left business owners "howling with anger" at the prospect of a loss of trade, arguing it would be catastrophic for the independent shops, pubs and restaurants in the area - the White Horse being one of them. 

The issue continues to rumble on but with plans to double council tax for second homeowners next year, the tide could be turning in Norfolk's coastal communities.