A “weekend retreat” of King Edward VII which has been transformed into a magnet for food and drink fans has been selected for an architecture and design award.

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The Gunton Arms at Thorpe Market has won the 2012 Graham Allen Award, which is administered by North Norfolk District Council and rewards the best work on buildings in the area.

The building dates from the 19th century and was the former lodge to Gunton Hall. The building had been in decline, but considerable restoration and re-modelling has breathed new life into it.

NNDC cabinet member for planning Rhodri Oliver said: “This is an excellent example of a restoration scheme that respects the original structure. The scheme pays close attention to detail and new elements complement the historic structure.

“The building has been brought back to life and is a credit to everyone involved and to north Norfolk as a whole.”

A modern piece of contemporary design has been highly commended. The Atrium at North Walsham High School is a community space that is being used for art, weekly cinema, music and a host of other events.

The judges said it was “a bold architectural statement which has added another dimension to community facilities in the town”.

This year two schemes received a commendation - Moor Hall Farm, Briston and Brookside and Blogg Cottage, Kelling.

Moor Hall Farm saw the restoration of a derelict 18th century farmhouse and outbuildings with the addition of a striking three-storey ‘tower’.

The scheme at Kelling saw the sensitive refurbishment of Brookside Cottage and the erection of the matching Blogg Cottage. It was praised for its locally distinctive approach, vernacular design and overall contribution to the setting and appearance of the Kelling conservation area.

The awards were presented at NNDC’s offices in Cromer on October 8 by Edward Allen, the eldest son of the late Graham Allen who was the first council chairman.

For more information on the Graham Allen Awards call Phil Godwin, NNDC conservation design and landscape manager on 01263 516131 or Paul Rhymes, conservation and design officer on 01263 516367.

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