Installing new windows in a conservation area

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If you live in a conservation area it can be hard to know what you are allowed to do to your house. Here is our quick guide to installing new windows in a conservation area.

Conservation areas are designed to protect areas with architectural or historical value. This is to try and make sure that the features which make the area special are preserved for the future. The council will always decide planning permissions in these areas based on how these changes will impact on what is termed ‘the character and appearance’ of the conservation area.

For everything about conservation areas, your first port of call should always be your local authority. If you give them a call they should be able to advise you about what you need to do in your case. Here we give some of the details and do some jargon busting, so that when you call you can be as informed as possible. Typically local authorities will request that windows in a conservation area are replaced on a like for like basis. They aim for a similar style and size to what is existing. The first thing to do if you know that you live in a conservation area is to ask whether the area is protected by an Article 4 directive.

An Article 4 directive means that there is extra protections in place in your conservation area. These can cover multiple areas, including windows and cladding in particular.

So what does this mean?

Put simply, this means that you need to do a planning application to check what works you can and can’t-do on your property. Your local authority would be able to advise you on this. On any projects with Ripton Windows, we can guide you through the planning process. Conservation area consent is a different process to planning permission. However, you only need to apply for this if you want to demolish your property.

Finally, the situation is slightly different if you live in a listed building. In this case, you will have to get listed building consent. This applies to both internal and external changes to your property. If you live in a listed building then this takes precedence over conservation area directives, so you need to make sure that you check with the council if you are unsure.

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In some cases you might have to choose a specific window profile that is designed for conservation areas. You can find some details of our Residence 9 system on our website. It is designed to replicate nineteenth century sash windows and therefore is ideal for replacing windows in a conservation area.

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