Councillor Says uPVC Windows Policy Worthy Of A Satire

Council chambers at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

Council chambers at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

The Chairman of the Council, Amanda Martin, says there needs to be more clarity over planning policy on the use of uPVC windows after what appeared to be conflicting recommendations at Tuesday’s Planning meeting.

The owners of Trefusis at Telegraph had wanted to replace their windows with plastic but planning officers instead negotiated a mix of softwood timber windows at the front and for a picture window at the back, with uPVC for the other windows.

The move was designed to encourage higher quality, wooden windows in the front.

Cllr Christine Savill felt that was a compromise but the application was backed.

But officers then recommended replacing worn out wooden windows in Council–owned homes on Garrison Lane with uPVC ones. That application was approved although Cllr Martin abstained from the vote because of what she called mixed messages being sent out to the community.

Plastic windows were also recommended for approval for Pernagie in Trench Lane.

The way in which some properties were allowed plastic, but some homes have been told they will need to fit wooden windows was worthy of a satire, according to Cllr Gordon Bilsborough.

He was up in arms and told the meeting that the restrictions on the Telegraph property were excessive. He said you’d need a telescope and a very clear day to detect whether the windows were wood or uPVC.

Gordon doesn’t see any reason not to back plastic windows and says the restrictions are “outdated and rubbish.”

Chief planner Craig Dryden argued that the Council would always prefer timber windows as the islands are a conservation area but each application had to be taken individually.

Newer properties like the application in Trench Lane could be considered more suitable for plastic windows.

All of the officer recommendations were backed by members but Cllrs James Francis and Dudley Mumford suggested that the Council design guide, which outlines the policy, should be reviewed. Craig Dryden said nothing had changed in design terms and there was no need for a review.

Instead councillors will have training on interpreting the policy documents.

3 Responses to Councillor Says uPVC Windows Policy Worthy Of A Satire

  1. Pat Hicks June 2, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Quite agree with Jeff. Its very confusing when some plans are passed and some are not, and there’s not always a good reason for it either.. the whole policy needs to be reviewed … well done to the councillors who brought it up and hopefully will look into it.. sorry Mr Dryden there needs to be a review and I think some changes…!!

  2. Jeff Eastick June 1, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Sounds like one different rules apply for different people. Smacks of double standards and I imagine the owners of Trefusis are somewhat miffed, not without good cause and not a good start for the new Council.

    • Ian T. June 3, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      ‘Twas ever thus…. The maintenance of soft wood windows is never ending especially in Scilly. On two occasions, and at great expense, we replaced windows with bespoke hard wood copies of the originals only to be told we couldn’t protect them with a yacht varnish but had to paint them white. These windows have never looked as smart as they ought. Seems the planners and planning committees never consider the cost of upkeep but then.. they don’t have to do or pay for it.