Replacement windows in Brighton conservation area refused planning permission

Posted On 30 Jan 2014 at 1:27 am
By :
By Jenni Davidson

Planning permission has been refused for modern windows in a historic Brighton conservation area.

The double glazed UPVC windows had already been fitted to the second floor flat in Clifton Street, Brighton.

The owner, Mr Randolph Morse of Cleve Terrace, Lewes, had applied for retrospective planning permission for the new windows.

Permission was refused because Clifton Street lies within the West Hill Conservation Area.

There are 33 conservation areas in Brighton and Hove.

Conservation areas are subject to strict ‘Article 4 Direction‘ planning rules in order to preserve the special historic character of the locality.

These rules limit the kinds of alterations to buildings that are normally permitted.

Planning guidelines state that in conservation areas original windows should be retained unless ‘beyond economic repair’.

If replacement windows are fitted, they must closely match the original ones in style, size, material and method of opening.

Mr Morse told Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee this afternoon (Wednesday 29 January) that he was unaware of the rules.

“This was not deception, believe me,” he said. “It was just a very regrettable mistake due to ignorance.”

“Would it really be fair to make us tear out the windows that make no noticeable difference to the street?” he asked.

He added that his intention had been to keep his tenants warm and reduce the carbon footprint of the flat.

Mr Morse also told the committee that he had spoken to other residents on the street and 41 of the 57 houses said they no problem with the windows.

Eight other houses and flats in the Clifton Street already have UPVC windows.

The planning officer’s report states that there is “no planning history for these unauthorised and harmful alterations”.

Councillor Leo Littmann commented: “Mr Morse has broken the eleventh commandment that says ‘Thou shalt not get caught’!”

Councillor Geoffrey Wells supported Mr Morse’s position.

He said: “If I’d been walking along the street as an ordinary layman, I would have failed to notice any windows had changed to PVC.”

While several councillors expressed their sympathy to Mr Morse, the majority affirmed the need to uphold the planning rules.

“I’m really sorry for Mr Morse. He’s in a really invidious position. But we can’t just support breaches of policy,” said Councillor Mike Jones.

Planning permission was refused by eight to two with one abstention.

  1. saveHOVE Reply

    Brighton went through a down at heel and grotty post war phase in common with everywhere else through austerity and beyond. What was not knocked down to make way for tower blocks languished until the 1980’s pretty much.

    It was only in the 1980’s that property development became a non-professional free-for-all as people bought dumps to live in and restore or convert and sell on for capital-gains-free profit. This was the hay-day of Margaret Thatcher and the yuppies, of the “Greed is Good” gambling casino mindset only squashed in the global financial meltdown of 2008.

    And now it is all “property ladders” and bizarre property inflation.

    However, on the up-side, restoration of a lot of property took place, central heating became the norm instead of the exception, and latterly, as a further step towards sprucing up the nation, people are taking pride in authenticity and property values reflect the extent to which a property has retained original features.

    Original timber windows lasted well over 100 years with only sash cords giving problems in the main, and needing replacement.

    But the wants of today to have double glazing or better has created serious conservation issues. All the first ones were in UPVC! And the takeup of the crudely designed, clumpy, lumpen UPVC monster has defaced the beauty of many an older building in such huge numbers that BHCC had to introduce its Article 4 Direction to try to save the integrity of Conservation Areas so carefully created and nurtured.

    Metal or timber double glazing was introduced a bit late in the game but it is increasingly competitively priced, and considered to be of equal value to the UPVC versions. And you can get period-authentic metal or timber double glazing which will not look wrong and not deprive of warmth or noise buffering.

    And it must be borne in mind that UPVC is not recyclable. Not sustainable. UPVC double glazing won’t last 100 years either. Wood gets harder and harder with age. The metal parts in UPVC windows corrode, the plastic warps and these windows make every building that sports them look cheap and tawdry.

    It is saddening that the Green Administration is not doing ONE SINGLE THING policy-wise to deal with discouraging UPVC use in this city. No moves whatsoever to even raise consciousness and dissuade. Nothing.

  2. saveHOVE Reply

    Brighton went through a down at heel and grotty post war phase in common with everywhere else through austerity and beyond. What was not knocked down to make way for tower blocks languished until the 1980’s pretty much.

    It was only in the 1980’s that property development became a non-professional free-for-all as people bought dumps to live in and restore or convert and sell on for capital-gains-free profit. This was the hay-day of Margaret Thatcher and the yuppies, of the “Greed is Good” gambling casino mindset only squashed in the global financial meltdown of 2008.

    And now it is all “property ladders” and bizarre property inflation.

    However, on the up-side, restoration of a lot of property took place, central heating became the norm instead of the exception, and latterly, as a further step towards sprucing up the nation, people are taking pride in authenticity and property values reflect the extent to which a property has retained original features.

    Original timber windows lasted well over 100 years with only sash cords giving problems in the main, and needing replacement.

    But the wants of today to have double glazing or better has created serious conservation issues. All the first ones were in UPVC! And the takeup of the crudely designed, clumpy, lumpen UPVC monster has defaced the beauty of many an older building in such huge numbers that BHCC had to introduce its Article 4 Direction to try to save the integrity of Conservation Areas so carefully created and nurtured.

    Metal or timber double glazing was introduced a bit late in the game but it is increasingly competitively priced, and considered to be of equal value to the UPVC versions. And you can get period-authentic metal or timber double glazing which will not look wrong and not deprive of warmth or noise buffering.

    And it must be borne in mind that UPVC is not recyclable. Not sustainable. UPVC double glazing won’t last 100 years either. Wood gets harder and harder with age. The metal parts in UPVC windows corrode, the plastic warps and these windows make every building that sports them look cheap and tawdry.

    It is saddening that the Green Administration is not doing ONE SINGLE THING policy-wise to deal with discouraging UPVC use in this city. No moves whatsoever to even raise consciousness and dissuade. Nothing.

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