Walcott barn, Gunton Arms pub and builders praised in regional awards

A north Norfolk barn extension has won a regional award for excellence, and a revamped pub and its builders praised on a shortlist.

The successes for the Tithe Barn at Walcott and Gunton Arms pub just off the Cromer to North Walsham Road came in the 2012 East Anglia Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence awards.

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) had three finalists and was the only Norfolk authority to get a winner this year. The award consolidates last year's success when NNDC claimed more award winners than any other single authority in East Anglia.

The Tithe Barn at Old Lane won the best domestic extension category. It is owned by Mr and Mrs R I Watson, with SMG Architects and contractor Peter Woodrow doing the project.

The building was designed to be efficient, uses fresh water from the borehole on site, with above-standard insulation and 14 heating zones for optimum efficiency.

A spokesman for NNDC's building control department said: 'The owners were keen to 'get it right' while retaining the character of the building. Not only have the owner, architect and builder got it right, they have created an excellent property in both appearance and construction.'

The judges said it was 'a simple single-storey extension creating interesting internal space, an exposed roof and contemporary cladding to the main barn.'

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The two shortlisted finalists were the Gunton Arms, at Thorpe Market, in the best commercial building category and N F Coverdale Ltd in the best partnership category.

A council spokesman said the Grade 2 listed building has been transformed by art dealer owner Ivor Braka from a 'decaying, unloved relic into a grand and bold commercial centre for the local community', adding 'no expense has been spared lovingly restoring this former coach house to a glory that in reality it may never have known before.'

Killigrew King and C&M Architects did the design, with N F Coverdale as contractors.

Coverdale has worked with NNDC on a number of projects, and the council's surveyor said its workforce were 'a pleasure to deal with, extremely diligent and transparent on site, allowing free reign to inspect, when and what we please' which created a partner-style relationship built on trust.

The council's portfolio holder for planning Keith Johnson said: 'I strongly believe that the success achieved at the LABC Building Excellence awards is indicative of the exceptional quality available here in North Norfolk, and I am extremely proud at what NNDC, architects, builders and local people have been able to achieve to enhance our built environment.'

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