Replacing Windows in Conservation Area

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Experts in Sash Windows Repair & Restoration, Timber Windows & Timber Doors in east midlands

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Sash Windows Refurbish specializes in providing repair and restoration services for wooden windows and doors in the UK, as well as various types of carpentry. During the process of fulfilling orders, we utilize a range of tools and paints, including saws, sprays, primers, resins, and adhesives. With more than 20 years of experience in carpentry, we have tested and used various brands and types of work tools, making us well-equipped to offer helpful advice on selecting the right tools and paints for your needs. Read more ...

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There are several hurdles in replacing windows in conservation areas. Windows ensures that your house ventilates appropriately. Houses without windows lack proper comfort and are always gloomy. Windows beautify a house making it admirable. It is advisable to go for the right windows for your house on all occasions.

Seek the best windows being considerate of the size, shape, and colour for great comfort. The right window will always make your house great. Wrong windows will ruin the appearance of your house hence the need to be cautious. Always make appropriate plans and choose the best windows for your house on all occasions.

What is a Conservation Area?

Conservation areas are formed to shield distinct architectural momentous welfare of a habitation. With conservation areas, we can retain the exceptional features of a given area for historical meaning. In England, there are over 10,000 conservation areas, with every local authority having at least one under its care.

To protect their exceptional features, conservation areas have additional planning controls and concerns devoted to them. Such controls and concerns aid in protecting the historical and architectural elements that advised the designation of the place as a conservation area.

Why do we have Conservation Areas?

There exist multiple reasons why we have conservation areas. These areas serve varied needs in the community. A good example is the town of Berwick on Tweed which includes defending wall built in the Elizabethan era whose chief goal was to deter aggressors from Scotland.

Since this area is conservative, no one is allowed to develop it and come up with structures that are different from the rest of town consequently altering the existing surroundings. Houses built and constructed in this conserved area must match and adhere to set standards and guidelines.

Article 4 Direction

Article 4 Direction is used to refer to a destined conservation area. Article 4 Direction is the official name that is used for such an area. The direction offers the local authorities mandate to withhold unique allowed development rights across the defines of the area. The government website highlights that an Article 4 Direction can:

  • Be any size whether specific or an entire local authority area
  • Remove unique expansion privileges concerning the variation of use or working expansion
  • Remove allowed growth privileges with both temporal and perpetual properties

For more information, you are advised to visit the government website at

Listed Buildings

Individual buildings of architectural or historical interest are referred to as listed buildings. Listed buildings can be located in conservative areas. It is not all buildings in conservative areas that are listed. A building is titled as listed based on its own merits.

As a result, listed buildings could be located in conservative areas or other places. Listed buildings can either be designated as 1 (one) or 2 (two). These grades have levels and as per where the listed building is located. There are two types of grade 2 buildings. The listed buildings are as:

  • Grade I: structures of excellent attention.
  • Grade II: mainly vital structures of more than distinct concern.
  • Grade II: constructions that are of exceptional attention, meriting every strength to reserve them.

Development Authorization

Development authorization is a must for alterations of all buildings. All listed buildings and preserved zones necessitate distinctive approval. Only after you get such permission you can develop or construct in such an area. Any effects that are to be performed including destructions, extensions, and adjustments need development permission. All listed buildings require such permission listed building consent for you to develop them.

Some local authorities apply special control conservation that includes features such as doors and windows. These special controls ensure that guidelines and regulations are followed and adhered to.

Unlicensed Work is a Criminal Offence

When planning to build in a listed or conservative area, you need to have the right plans and permission to restore or swap your windows. Permission is vital and must be sought from the relevant bodies. Getting permission and the necessary authorization is the first thing that you need to do.

You need to note that unauthorized work is a criminal offence that attracts prison sentences. When you carry out work in conservative and listed areas without permission, you end up paying heavy fines. You are fined double for contravening Article 4 Direction as well as fined for alterations you have made. It is important to follow the right procedure and guidelines. These guidelines are simple, easy, and cheaper to follow.

Once you follow the regulations and get the right permits, it becomes less stressful when planning. It is vital to plan the whole process before implementing it. Never begin any work without the right permissions. Get to know about all the planning permissions that you need by visiting the government’s planning portal website portal at

Importance of Window Reinstatement Over Window Replacement

Most house windows in conservation areas suffer issues like rot, dampness, and poor draught-proofing. As a result, repairs and replacements cannot be avoided. Properties within these areas must be looked into to ensure that they are habitable. When house windows suffer rot, dampness, and poor draught-proofing, many people tend to replace the windows. However, this is not always the case when the house is in a conservation area.

Sash window renovation can be embraced as a remedy for window replacement. When doing window restoration, you do not need permission as required when doing full window replacement. Window restoration is much cheaper thus making it the best option for all who need it even those living outside conservation areas.

Window renovation solves numerous issues including rot and dampness as well as other issues that are common with windows in Georgia, Victoria, and Edward. Weight balancing, sash cord replacement, and spring balance repair are other issues that can be addressed through window restoration services. You can embrace retrofitting double glazing into existing window frames to replace single glazing in the conservation area.

Most windows found in conservation areas tend to be single-glazed. Single-glazed is inferior to double-glazing for several reasons. As a result of this, building regulations have effectively prevented single-glazing installation in new buildings due to how inefficient they are in terms of quality.

It is vital to note that despite double-glazing being vital, most of the conservation properties are not allowed to have it as it can lead to a change in the appearance of the property. By good luck, we now have an alternative to this in the form of thin vacuum double glazing that can be fitted to original window frames.

This is a new generation of double-glazing that features all the same advantages of standard double-glazing and in some instances triple-glazing. Caution has already been taken and this triple glazing is ultra-thin and doesn’t harm a conservation property’s aesthetic charm. However, it is far more likely to be granted permission to be installed by the local authorities.

In a vacuum double-glazing ultra-thin design is realized by eliminating the air between glass panes by creating a vacuum. This is an alternative option to standard double-glazing which fills the air between panes with gas that gradually evaporates. Just like in restoration, retrofitting is considerably cheaper when compared to full window replacement. Vacuum double-glazing offers multiple benefits the most important being:

Energy Efficacy

Double-glazing and mostly vacuum double-glazing have many benefits compared to single-glazing in energy efficacy. Here, heat takes longer to pass through standard double-glazing compared to how long it does in single-glazing making it ideal for keeping homes warm in winter and ensuring that energy bills are minimal. Thin vacuum double-glazing has a U-value when compared to triple-glazing which essentially means it has fantastic levels of thermal efficacy.


With unwanted noise, it becomes harder to relax and sleep thus causing health issues like high blood pressure and heart diseases in adults as well as memory impairments in children. Double-glazing has notably better sound-proofing characteristics compared to single-glazing thus ensuring noise pollution levels are minimal.


Compared to single-glazing, double-glazing is much safer. Single-glazing can be broken into with simple tools and it is prone to cracks resulting in sharp shards. Double-glazing is tougher and more durable making it hard to break. It has extra-safe double-glazing options available like laminated glass or toughened glass that are harder to break and are designed to prevent cracks and consequently occurrence of sharp shards.

Advice for Submitting an Application for Planning Permission

To get planning permission easily, research the history of your home noting what makes it unique to identify what needs to be preserved. Always seek expert advice and get advice on the available options. You can as well get all the necessary details that you need to adhere to in your application from the experts. Provide answers to the questions from the planning authorities to speed up the application processes. In instances where your application is denied, appeal and submit the revised plan.


Can you modify your windows without development consent in a conservation area?

It is essential to get planning permission when you need to change your windows in a conservation area.

Can you change the colour of your window edges in a conservation area?

Hypothetically, yes, though consent from the local authority is obligatory.

Can you have double-glazing in a conservation area?

Get permission first. Where double-retrofitting is done in double-glazing units fitted into existing wooden frames, it is more likely to be approved compared to full replacement.

Can you fit uPVC windows in a conservation area?

If you want to substitute timber windows with uPVC windows in conservation areas, you will need to seek development consent. uPVC windows are seen as current materials and often do not match the character of the area.

However, if you want to uphold the old-style look of your conservation area, you can opt for preservation grade, uPVC windows which come in a range of timber effects and styles such as sash windows.

Although uPVC windows often require additional development consent, mounting uPVC windows in a conservation area can be a great way to boost your home’s energy efficiency without conceding its character.

About the author

Glen Ramsey, who presently holds the positions of customer support and content manager, is a cherished member of the Sash Window Refurbish team. He is in a unique position to provide advice on all questions pertaining to the renovation of historic windows because he has a wealth of experience in all elements of window renovation, dealing with clients regularly and assisting them in choosing the best window-related course of action. He oversees the creation of information for all of our platforms in his capacity as content manager, including web content and other materials. Glen has witnessed the whole gamut of Sash Window Refurbish's window restoration activities, from our work on significant listed Georgian homes to a wide variety of smaller-scale private residential projects.


My technician Andrew replaced all my sash windows that had rotten sills. Accessing the rotten sills was not an easy task. He explained to me what needed to be done in order to fix the problem. He is a great person and I’m happy that he was the one who did the job. He is reliable, tidy, friendly and very professional. I highly recommend him.



I hired Andrew and Alex a while back to repair my damaged sash windows. They were was very considerate and very patient as he did his job. A few days ago, I had another problem with one of my sash lock keys and I called him again to come and fix the problem. I’m very impressed that Liam responded quickly and he not only fixed the problem but he also gave me a spare key. What a great after sales service!

Alan W.


I’m very impressed with the new windows that Andrew installed and also the reconditioning job that he did on other sash windows. The quality of his work is by far more superior than what we got when we hired another company a few years back. We will certainly hire him again if any window work arises

Kelly (Sleaford)


Our decorator referred us to Andrew because some of the work needed a window expert. Andrew together with our decorator did a fantastic job. The work was done efficiently and to the highest standards. Andrew is understanding, committed and very professional. I recommend him without any hesitation.

Steaven Reader


Alex did a great job in fixing windows in our terraced house. The windows were broken, frames damaged and the wood was also rotten. Alex's job was high quality and he did it pretty fast. I was also very impressed that he was considerate of my son’s asthma condition and maintained cleanliness. Top work.



Andrew just recently replaced three sash windows in my Edwardian house. He also repaired and replaced some sills and draught proofed three windows. In addition to that, he also did some carpentry work. What I like the most about Liam is that he did a clean job. He is very professional and always updated me about the timescales and costs. He also did his job with minimal disruptions. I highly recommend him.

Cris M.