ANOTHER UPVC APPEAL DISMISSED
In our Newsletter 160 we reported that Liverpool City Council had refused to grant retrospective planning permission for the installation of UPVC windows and doors at 179 Thingwall Road, within the Wavertree Garden Suburb Conservation Area. The owner of the house subsequently submitted an appeal, and a government-appointed Planning Inspector invited comments from interested parties.
We argued - in line with our usual policy - that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with UPVC, but that the usual type of 'Georgian bar' UPVC frame, with white plastic strips sandwiched between the double glazed panes, can never reproduce the appearance of timber glazing bars. We suggested a compromise whereby raised glazing bars might be affixed to the front panes. However, the Planning Inspector stated: 'I am not satisfied that this would overcome the harm that I have identified [to] the character and appearance of the conservation area'.
Interestingly, the Inspector took the view that, while a number of houses in the area have had their windows altered over the years - without planning permission having been applied for or obtained - this makes it more rather than less important that the Conservation Area guidelines should be enforced. The only concession he made was to allow the UPVC windows at the rear of the property to be retained.
The result of this appeal is that the newly-installed windows and door at the front of the house will have to be removed, and replaced by timber frames matching the original Garden Suburb design. We know that the City Council is currently considering enforcement action against other property owners in the Conservation Area, who have gone ahead and installed new windows without permission. This appeal decision will, we hope, serve as a warning to anyone tempted to do likewise - and to double glazing companies who try and persuade home owners that planning permission is not needed.