What is a Conservation Area?
Conservation Areas are defined and designated by Historic England in order to protect places of special architectural or historical interest. This wonderful organisation acts as guardian to the cultural and architectural heritage of which we are all so proud, preserving unique and distinctive buildings for the pleasure of future generations.
We occasionally receive enquiries from people unaware that they live in a Conservation Area and of course we are always delighted to help with advice about such matters as Article 4 Directions and planning permissions.
If you are unsure of whether you live in a Conservation Area, you can always contact your Local Planning Authority to find out. It is a huge privilege to live or work in such an area, but as with many privileges, there are some noticeable responsibilities.
Traditional Single Glazing
Very many older buildings still retain their original windows and while they add hugely to the aesthetic appeal they are rarely fit for purpose in respect of thermal insulation and noise reduction.
In fairness to the great builders of previous generations these windows have done incredibly well to last this long, particularly as these craftsmen had no access to our modern construction methods, so hats off to traditional skills!
Nowadays of course developments in glazing technology offer us a range of solutions and it is here where Hugo Carter can help.
Double Glazing in a Conservation Area
Our experience in this field of installing double glazing for listed buildings can be invaluable, not just with design and installation but also in guiding clients through the often tricky application processes.
Our work with architects, civil engineers and local authorities ensures a seamless service, we have gone through the process many times and our guidance saves valuable time and money. In fact, our experts also specialise in window replacement in the conservation area.
Quite substantial changes to the rear of a building might be fairly straightforward whereas a cosmetic change to a highly visible feature at the front might take a little longer to be passed. One thing is for sure though, the preservation of old and unique buildings is a genuine love of ours, we never cut corners and we do everything ‘by the book’.
Your application might depend upon matters such as the size of your building, whether it is detached, semi-detached or terraced, part of a block or possibly a flat or apartment. Again, with our experience, we will give you an idea of likely success and timescales before the planning application is made.
Once the planning approval has been received we can arrange for installation. Part of the approval process is, of course, the submission of detailed plans and it is to these that we work with diligence and respect.
We consider the impact on each feature of the window unit, sash or casement windows, for example, require the precise matching of dimensions, design and finish, a sizeable task considering the additional depth of double glazing.
The work itself can take a while, but consider how long your building has been standing, doesn’t it deserve a little time?
Double Glazing in a Listed Building
While the process is quite similar to that for a building in a conservation area, this application comes with an additional regulatory body, Historic England.
The official name of Historic England is the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England. It was first established in 1984 and until 1 April 2015 was commonly known as English Heritage. They are, as we touched upon earlier, the body charged with safeguarding the preservation of exceptional buildings and places of historic interest.
To say that they are ‘sticklers’ might be seen as an understatement, and so they should be. We are fortunate to live in a country packed with history and beautiful buildings, it is the job of this authority to make sure that we can enjoy both for many generations to come.
They are not, however, implacable and they can be appealed to if the changes you wish to make have a compelling case to be made. Hugo Carter has been successful in this regard because we are able to use ultra-thin glass and considerably smaller glazing bars than may other glazing companies.
We have written a quite extensive blog article about Listed Buildings and the issues surrounding their accreditation and the responsibilities of owners in particular in respect of making changes to windows. You can read more about it here.
As with every aspect of our service, if you have any questions we would welcome your call.