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License to Build: Jet black house likened to a James Bond villain’s lair which was built on the site of an old thatched cottage sparks fury among neighbours

  • The demolition of Reed Cutters was approved by planning officials in 2017
  • But the new home has left locals in the Norfolk Broads divided

A jet black house that has been likened to a James Bond villain’s lair has sparked fury among its neighbours – despite getting planning permission six years ago.

The modern Norfolk property made from wood and glass and finished in black – and built on the site of an old thatched cottage – has divided opinion.

In fact, many locals have argued that the building is too out of character with the rest of the area, which is largely made up of brick houses and traditional bungalows. 

The home has been built looking over one of the most beautiful areas of the Norfolk Broads after owner Andy Burt and his wife applied for permission to replace the old home with something more modern. 

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Reed Cutters, the old cottage, was home of the Broads legend Archie Taylor, considered the ‘last of the marshmen’.

A couple visiting the area of Rockland Staithe, Norfolk, described the jet black property as 'shocking'

A couple visiting the area of Rockland Staithe, Norfolk, described the jet black property as ‘shocking’

The original - more traditional looking - property (pictured above) was home of the Broads legend Archie Taylor, who was considered the 'last of the marshmen'

The original – more traditional looking – property (pictured above) was home of the Broads legend Archie Taylor, who was considered the ‘last of the marshmen’

However, the traditional thatched marshman’s cottage was bulldozed to make way for the house, which is painted entirely in black, including the fence and gate around it. 

The demolition of the home was approved in 2017 by planning officials from the Broads Authority and proposals were even supported by the parish council. 

This is because during this time there were no objections from the pubic.

Since the property has been built, objections have grown as residents have been left divided over its look and questioning why the earlier structure was allowed to be torn down. 

It has been built overlooking the dyke connecting Rockland Broad with the nearby staithe, next to a popular walking route called Wherryman’s Way. 

Norfolk local Cameron Self told Norfolk Live: ‘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.’ 

He continued to say that he has been left ‘horrified’ by the new look of the home, adding that he assumed the new property built would be a ‘tasteful’ holiday home.

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 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.’ 

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Another resident, Mr Goodson, 62, also shared his disappointment at the new building.

He said he has lived in the village for most of his life and went on to describe the building as ‘totally out of place,’ adding: ‘How it got there, I don’t know.’ 

A couple visiting the area from Lakenham, who asked not to be named, described the property as ‘shocking’, report Eastern Daily Press

The pair said: ‘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.’  

However, other locals have said that they do not mind having ‘something’ more modern in their village.

Resident Derreck Yallup added: ‘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.’ 

And Martin Burrekoven-Kalve added: ‘I think it sits well.

‘They are very nice people and you can never please everyone. I think we are quite lucky to have it in our village.’

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