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Date published: 21st September 2017

Photograph: Paul Rhymes (North Norfolk District Council), James Pitcher (Norfolk Probuild), Wild Acres owners Robin and Carol Orrow, Martin Lewis and Darren Gleave (both of Chaplin Farrant)

An innovative house in Heydon, near Saxthorpe, has won this year’s Graham Allen Award.

The Graham Allen Award is presented annually by North Norfolk District Council to the project considered to make the most significant contribution to the built environment within the district. The results of the awards were announced today at North Norfolk District Council’s offices in Cromer.

Previous winners have included the extension to Binham Priory, the refurbishment of the Gunton Arms on the edge of Thorpe Market and Hootz House at Pensthorpe Natural Park.

This year’s overall winner was Wild Acres, on Holt Road, Heydon, which is owned by Robin and Carol Orrow. The project architects were Chaplin Farrant, with Norfolk Pro Build working as the contractor.

The project involved the demolition of a bungalow and the clever resiting and building of a new four bedroomed home using crisp and contemporary architecture. It was praised by judges for its intelligent reaction to site context, topography and landscape setting; visual interest portrayed by the curved form; low lying position and shallow pitch ensuring a discreet presence; and sustainable technology including ground source heating.

Cllr Sue Arnold, Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “The judging panel were blown away by the quality and innovation they saw on site and the use of an interesting mix of materials.

“Use of materials, careful design and a sustainable approach have all been combined to create a stunning piece of contemporary design which has used site context to create unique qualities and identity.

“We would like to offer huge congratulations to all those involved in the Wild Acres project and also many thanks to all the other very high quality entries.”

Martin Lewis, Director at Chaplin Farrant, said: “Wild Acres takes its design inspiration from its natural surroundings and aims to have a minimal impact on the site and further countryside.

“We are delighted that this ambition has not only been achieved, but has also been recognised via the Graham Allen Award and the comments and feedback from the judges.”

Wild Acres also won the People’s Choice Award, which is determined by way of public vote during the Greenbuild weekend in early September. Greenbuild is NNDC’s annual green lifestyle event, held at Felbrigg Hall.

Other projects which won awards at today’s Graham Allen Awards ceremony at NNDC’s Cromer headquarters were:

  • Highly Commended – Thursford Castle, Thursford Road, Great Snoring, owned by Mr and Mrs Hickling. This scheme has created a genuinely unique piece of architectural design. Its bold vision for modern contemporary living has retained a strong element of conservation. The architects for this project were LSI Architects.
  • Commended – The Reading Rooms, Church Road, Alby, owned by Simon and Joanne Williams. This project has secured the long-term future of an important listed building, but has also created a new intimate wedding venue which many people will be able to enjoy and come together in celebration. The architects for this project were SMG Architects.

Visit the Conservation and Design Awards page for further information.


Last updated: 11th January 2018