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What To Know When Replacing Windows In A Restricted Area

November 16th 2018

A large percentage of UK householders don’t need to worry at all when replacing their old windows as they have every right to just go ahead and do it, but it’s slightly trickier when you live in a restricted area.

When we say ‘restricted area’ we refer to those places in Britain with special architectural or historic interest where the traditional character of properties must be preserved.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do, far from it, you just have to choose a replacement window that satisfies the planners and the Residence Collection is one of a select few window systems to regularly receive their blessing.

There are three types of circumstances where you may have to go through certain processes and abide by stringent rules when exchanging windows.

Conservation Areas

Every local authority in England has at least one conservation area and there are now over 10,000 of them in England alone.

These areas are a hugely significant part of our landscape and the traditional windows used in conservation areas play an enormous role in defining the personality of these distinguished locations.

With that in mind, you can easily understand why planners are so keen to ensure that use of inadequate replacement windows is forbidden as they can easily spoil the aesthetics of historic buildings.

If you’re unsure whether you live in a conservation area, just contact your local planning department to find out.

Article 4 Direction

Before going into Article 4 directions it helps to know a little bit about Permitted Development Rights.

Permitted Development Rights automatically grant you planning permission to carry out certain building works which often includes replacing windows.

However, when an Article 4 direction has been imposed by your local authority it removes some of these Permitted Development Rights. Their reason for issuing an Article 4 direction will usually be due to a keenness to preserve the character of a particularly important area (most typically a conservation area).

In this situation, you will have to make an application for planning permission when it would normally not be required. Again, you can ask your local planning department if an Article 4 direction is in place.

Listed Buildings

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport are responsible for giving buildings listed status and they include the following:

• Pre-1700 buildings that have survived and remain close to their original condition.
• Most buildings between 1700 and 1840
• Buildings between 1840 and 1914 of definite quality and character
• Significant post-war buildings over 30 years old and high-quality buildings developed between 1914 and 1939.

Changes can be made to listed buildings such as the implementation of replacement windows but only once listed building consent has been applied for and accepted by your local authority. They will base their decision on granting listed building consent on the product you intend to use and how essential it is that improvements are made to the listed building.

We use UPVC to manufacture the full Residence Collection but very rarely does that stop it from earning full approval as there’s honestly no better like-for-like replacement for timber windows. Many of our installers showcase the range at their showroom/s. Click here to find your local installer.


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