Projects at Walcott, Binham, Holt and Kelling win top design awards

A restored historic tithe barn in a coastal village has won a prestigious conservation and design award in north Norfolk.

The 19th century Tithe Barn at Walcott had fallen into a state of disrepair before a restoration which combined modern features with preserving its traditional feel.

The project at the barn in Old Lane has won in the major prize in this year's Graham Allen awards presented by North Norfolk District Council in recognition of good design and conservation schemes.

The council's conservation, design and landscape manager Phil Godwin praised the design approach at Walcott, saying: 'This is an excellent example of an innovative and creative conversion which has managed to retain the building's fundamental agricultural characteristics. The architects, Stead Mutton, have combined an innovative design with a respect for the building.

'There is a seamless link between the modern and the old. Not only has the project preserved a building of historic and local significance it has also made a 21st century architectural statement in its own right'.

Highly commended was an unusual project, involving the conversion and extension of a former cart shed and 1970's bungalow at Langham Road, Binham, into a spacious home with dramatic views of 11th century priory.

A development of 33 affordable dwellings at Lodge Close, Holt received a commendation for the quality of the scheme's locally distinctive vernacular design and overall contribution to community need.

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On the 30th anniversary of the awards the judging panel gave special recognition to the restoration of the Grade II* listed Kelling Hall, which they felt had made an exceptional contribution to the art and practice of building conservation and design.

Mr Godwin added: 'The Pike Partnership in Cromer were the architects and project managers for this scheme and their attention to detail and context has been exemplary.'

The awards were presented at the council offices in Cromer by Edward Allen, the eldest son of the late Graham Allen who was the first chairman of North Norfolk District Council and after whom the awards are named.