Local authorities monitor and approve requests to fit uPVC windows in conservation sites, where like-for-like replacements are normally mandatory. Until recently, timber was regarded as the best material for the job.
Getting planning permission to use uPVC windows for refurbishment or repair projects is easier than it used to be. Advancements in window design mean that uPVC is approved for use in conservation sites by local councils more often.
Approving uPVC Windows in a Conservation Area: A Case Study
REHAU recently completed an installation project at a site in Bristol, which has helped change the perception of uPVC windows locally. In this short case study, we’ll explain why this installation was such a resounding success.
There are 33 conservation sites in Bristol. Each has its own character, which the council is keen to preserve. To the north, there is Sneyd Park. This wooded area is characterised by Victorian properties that have been segmented into flats.
Four years ago, a resident of Sneyd Park – Mr Hall – approached Panoramic to discuss replacing his windows. His period home was single glazed, draughty and cold. This was because of his property’s proximity to the Downs.
uPVC windows weren’t on Mr Hall’s design radar, because he hadn’t seen any that he liked. An additional obstacle was posed in the form of the shape of his property’s windows, which were angled, arched and square.
The Next Step
Panoramic Windows asked Mr Hall to come and visit their showroom so that he could look at the range of uPVC windows the company offered.
Mr Hall loved Panoramic’s range of vertical sliders, which used REHAU Heritage profiles and were fabricated by Roseview Windows.
The vertical sliding uPVC windows featured:
- Incredible and eye-catching sightlines
- 42mm, 52mm and 62mm sashes
- An authentic heritage bottom rail
- Putty-lined visuals
The Heritage uPVC Windows were to Mr Hall’s liking. Furthermore, Rosewood Windows had the experience needed to complete the installation to suit the unusual architectural design of the property. Because of this, an order for 16 windows – completed with white woodgrain foil finish – was placed.
Mr Hall formalised the process by applying for planning permission with his local authority. He expected a response within a matter of months – but had to wait longer than expected. The initial reply specified that wooden windows should be used instead of uPVC windows to retain the property’s appearance.
The story had a happy ending, though. Mr Hall’s request to fit vertically sliding uPVC windows was reviewed – and the original decision reversed – when an independent inspector came to visit the property. It was felt that the use of uPVC would not negatively affect the character of the surrounding area.
Mr. Hall suggested that the inspector review samples of the vertically sliding uPVC windows Panoramic would be installing. It became immediately clear that the installation would match the appearance of the existing double glazing – and, most importantly, would blend in with the area’s local architecture.
Mr Hall’s vertically sliding uPVC windows have since been installed are a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of the teams at Roseview Windows and Panoramic Windows. The success of this project has hopefully set a precedent, in that it will inform future planning decisions made by the local council.