Following on from last months news item (see it here) about the member who had been told to replace his triple glazing with single glazing as his property was in a conservation area, the Planning Inspector in Bristol has reviewed the case and sided with the council, so the landlord now has no choice but to remove his expensive windows and replace them in accordance with the stipulated (and in our view outdated) council instructions.
See last months article for the background - but in essence, the Planning Inspector was presented with the rules which state that no properties can change their windows without planning permission. He looked at the details of this case and stated that the windows had been changed without the necessary permission and would thus need to be changed.
The issue was that PCC had stated that they had to be 'single glazed wooden sash windows' so the inspector had no option but to confirm that PCC had the right to do this. However, his summary did imply that he expected PCC to be willing to compromise as in its current form, their edict is just daft.
Quoting the report from the inspector: "Furthermore, twelve months affords the appellant ample opportunity to explore further with the Council the possibility of installing replacement windows of an alternative design which both addresses the harm to the CA identified in the notice and by the Inspector in the previous planning appeal, as well as achieving good levels of energy efficiency. It would also present an opportunity for discussions regarding the application of any suitable alternatives to the cladding." Let's just hope the council take onboard the need to agree an alternative design as otherwise, they will be rendering this property unlettable under the 'Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards' due to be implemented in the near future,
In the intro we stated that the rules in this instance, in our view, have been correctly applied but that they are outdated. We hold this view as 75% of the properties in the road have uPVC windows, so forcing the few remaining not to change does not maintain the look and feel of the 'leafy suburban suburb' that the Conservation Area was created to protect (according to the original legislation). This particular property is a case in point. The lower windows are and have been uPVC for quite some time and this ruling only relates to the upper windows where the sash windows have been replaced with triple glazing - so if this ruling is enforced without change or compromise, we will have a house with single glazed sash windows on upper floors, above uPVC well insulated ones below....
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