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Gordon doesn’t see any reason not to back plastic windows and says the restrictions are “outdated and rubbish.”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

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