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Council defends restoration work to iconic building

The North Lodge Park building in Cromer is being restored by the town council. Picture: Russell Wright

The North Lodge Park building in Cromer is being restored by the town council. Picture: Russell Wright

Archant

A Norfolk council has defended its restoration work to an iconic building after it was branded a "disaster".

The North Lodge Park building is being restored by the town council. Picture: Russell WrightThe North Lodge Park building is being restored by the town council. Picture: Russell Wright

The North Lodge Park building, which houses the Cromer Town Council offices, is being repointed after water damage during the Beast from the East.

A town council spokesman said the work was being carried out correctly, but Russell Wright said it was a "disaster".

The council said on its Facebook page: "We would like to reassure everyone that the stonework is not being covered up.

"During the Beast from the East there was a considerable amount of water ingress between the cobbles due to the eroded mortar.

The North Lodge Park building in Cromer is being restored by the town council. Picture: Russell WrightThe North Lodge Park building in Cromer is being restored by the town council. Picture: Russell Wright

"Thus it was agreed that the north and east elevations of the building needed to be repointed to protect the building for the future.

"Cliveden Conservation started work in April. The works also include the replacement of some of the bricks surrounding the windows.

"The lime mortar is applied over the stonework and then cleaned off to reveal the cobbles."

Cromer town councillor Tim Adams added: "We've got a proper conservation team in. We are using lime mortar and doing the flint wall the right way. The north and east elevations should be done by the end of the month.

Restoration work to North Lodge council offices in Cromer. Picture: Cromer Town CouncilRestoration work to North Lodge council offices in Cromer. Picture: Cromer Town Council

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"It looks brighter and it's not in the same pattern. Some people may be unfamiliar with the process, and may imagine we're doing something different to what we are."

But Mr Wright, from Cliff Avenue, said: "The fine graded cobbles were meant to be seen. The men who originally built it must have been very proud of their beautifully crafted workmanship.

"This has now been obliterated... You can also see where the desecration work has stopped one day and started the next."

Mr Wright said he had been in construction for 30 years and judged it the "worst" restoration he had seen.

He added: "My great-great-uncle Henry Blogg's portrait hangs in the council chamber within this building, which makes this vandalism even more hurtful. This is desecration."

However, Barry Meadows, secretary of the Friends of North Lodge Park, said the council was doing a good restoration job.

What do you think? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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