A DECISION on whether to allow new windows to be installed at a property in Cirencester has attracted the attention of the national Planning Inspectorate.
In April 2013, Cotswold District Council refused to allow the ground floor windows of 14 Thomas Street to be replaced with new double glazed ones as they were not keeping with the character of the local area.
Kevin Field, CDC’s planning and development manager, said the new windows would “cause substantial harm to the special architectural and historic character which has not been clearly or convincingly justified or outweighed by any demonstrated public benefits.”
However, the applicant Hilary Gibson, of France Lynch, decided to appeal the decision made by CDC after claiming that the new windows are needed to properly insulate the house.
“We believe that no consideration has been given to the benefits of energy conservation and noise reduction in considering the application, rather, it is based on a dislike of double glazed windows in listed buildings,” she said.
“There is a need to increase warmth in the house which suffers significant heat loss due to current single glazing and ill fitting windows.”
The property in Thomas Street is the central house in a terrace of three-storey buildings which is a Grade II listed building within the Cirencester Town Centre Conservation Area.
Peter Jarratt, of the Planning Inspectorate, visited Cirencester to inspect the house on Monday, March 31 and noted that the existing window is “showing visible signs of age and rot”.
In his report, Mr Jarratt said that the modern nature and style of the new window would be obvious to people walking by.
“This loss of historic fabric undermines the integrity of the listed building, not just at number 14, but in the adjoining dwellings forming the terrace,” he said.
In terms of the existing window, Mr Jarratt noted that when work to listed buildings is necessary, repair, rather than replacement, is always preferable.
Upholding the council’s decision to refuse the new windows, Mr Jarratt said: “The proposed development would not preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the Conservation Area.”
Last month the Planning Inspectorate overturned CDC’s decision to refuse permission for nine new homes to be built in Black Jack Street.
The inspector cited the authority’s lack of an up-to-date Local Plan as the reason for the appeal being upheld.