Timber has been the natural choice for internal and external joinery for centuries. As upgrading windows and doors in listed properties or those located in a Conservation Area is a sensitive task, a growing number of our members offer heritage designs. With advancements in design and manufacture there is now the option of exact replication of existing timber windows and doors.
The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 is an Act of Parliament that governs the laws on granting of planning permission for building works, with a particular focus on listed buildings and conservation areas.
Listed properties must have listed building consent issued by the Local Authority prior to carrying out any alterations (such as replacement windows and doors). Consent for listed buildings is typically granted on a ‘like for like’ basis and it is doubtful that modifications would be accepted as the applicant would need to satisfy certain condition. Similarly, a conservation area may be designated by a local Council and additional planning controls applied to protect special historical or architectural elements.
The planning officer may look for the applicant to reinstate (and re-use) as much of the original material and detail as possible. If repair is not possible, then the replacement details will need to replicate the existing design details, including mouldings, glazing method and use of historic glass.
Similar restrictions apply to any proposed changes to the location of staircases and alterations to original features such as wall-panelling, picture rails and internal timber mouldings around doors and windows. If your house is Grade I or Grade II* listed it may be appropriate to use traditional paints with white lead pigment or high solvent content. However, their toxicity means they are restricted by environmental legislation and their use permitted only under licence.
If your building is listed, it is critical to seek advice from your local authority as it is a criminal offence not to seek listed building consent and also for undertaking or authorising work without consent.