Historic timber windows were generally produced from timber of a quality that is simply not available today, and most are still serviceable, sometimes hundreds of years after they were manufactured, requiring only simple repairs or maintenance (of sash cords for example) to bring them back to life. Draught proofing measures can be introduced, and sealed up shutters brought back into use, or secondary glazing systems fitted.
Historic England has issued advice resulting from studies carried out into the performance of historic windows which suggests that u values of less than 2 can be achieved by the use of such means, comparable with modern replacement windows.
The council aims to encourage owners to value their historic windows and to recognise that poor quality replacements could potentially devalue the property and its neighbourhood, and may themselves need replacement before long.
Nevertheless, where historic windows are of a design not considered to be old or rare, and a high quality, well detailed replacement is proposed, there is now greater scope for this to be supported.
Where windows need to be replaced because they are beyond repair this should be verified by a window report. Contact us for advice on window care practitioners.
Our window policy is intended for use where windows in conservation area dwellings are proposed for replacement. It covers only 'relevant locations', these being elevations 'fronting a highway, waterway or open space'. In most cases, it is only the front elevation that is thereby controlled. The policy uses a point scoring system, which is based on a number of criteria. An opinion of this can be obtained prior to submission of an application, from the relevant Area Planning Officer.
You will need planning permission to carry out demolition of buildings in a conservation area. Work to trees, siting of satellite dishes, dormer windows and some extensions are controlled.
Further controls have been imposed within some conservation areas, by means of an Article 4 direction. This means that some of your permitted development rights have been removed and any changes of design or material to any part facing a public thoroughfare will require planning permission (free application). This includes replacement of windows. You can find out more by reading our guide for owners and occupiers of properties in conservation areas.