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Case study

Conservation area sash window replacement

Plastic casement windows get permission in a conservation area, according to the Maidenhead advertiser. It seems the son of celebrity chef #MichelRoux, top chef Alain Roux has got into hot water by fitting windows without permission then successfully applying for retrospective planning permission.

The property is believed to be staff quarters in The Terrace, near The Waterside Inn, and in a conservation area. The article suggests that for this reason, planning permission is required, but this is incorrect.

Firstly it does not need permission because of where it is; it needs planning permission because as a property that is connected to a commercial business the “permitted development rights” have been removed.

Had the building been owned privately, with no rented accommodation or business, etc, it would probably have had the PDRs meaning owners can change their windows to ones of “similar” appearance. That’s what the NPPF guidelines actually state, “similar” appearance.

The question is “do these replacement windows look similar?”

I suggest not.

They may be excellent quality windows, made well and fitted nicely but the fact remains that as casement windows they are dissimilar to the originals, they open in different directions and standout from neighbouring properties.

Like so many owners, he probably installed casement windows hoping to save money against real sash windows which are more expensive; however, there are many modern sash window solutions that enable window replacements to go undetected because they are “VERY similar” to the existing windows.

Pity really because whatever saving he made buying casement windows, he has probably lost on the value of his property.

Seems permission has now been granted with Retrospective planning permission. I must say this seems odd given that the council has now established a precedent for the area.

How can they now decline permission for other casement window installations when these are so obviously “dis-similar” to the original sash windows.

If planners are to have any respect from homeowners, they must be consistent in their rulings.

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