Replacing Windows and Doors in Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas

Windows and doors provide us with access, natural light, ventilation, security and insulation. In addition, they can add a distinct character to a property. When we look at listed buildings and conservation areas, restrictions are in place in order to retain specific styles and detailing that are inherent to the building and its surrounds.

Regular, considered maintenance of historical properties will ensure that original features are both functional and aesthetic for many years, but the time may come when windows and doors need replacing. If this is the situation you are facing, you will need building consent from your Local Planning Authority in order to replace windows and doors.

Please note that, even if your windows and doors have previously been replaced with non-historic styles and you are looking to reinstate a period feature, planning consent is necessary.

How to Gain the Correct Approval for Replacement Windows and Doors from your Local Council

On 8 September 2019, updates to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 came into force. Full details can be found here:

If you are considering any changes to a historic property, this will provide information on the authorisation of works. In order to present a strong case for replacement windows and doors in listed buildings and conservation areas, you need evidence. The first step is to identify the issue and which parts of the property are affected. If only one or two windows are in a poor state of repair, avoid suggesting full window replacement.

The Importance of Replacement Windows and Doors being in Keeping with the Original Property

The Council’s default position will be for restoration over replacement windows and doors. It is therefore recommended to ask a company with expertise in working on listed properties to come and assess the condition of the features on your property. They can advise on where repair and restoration are possible, or where replacements are necessary. Their report will be one factor supporting your case.

A specialist window and door company, like Hinson Custom Made, can also detail the traditional joinery skills that would be used for restoration and replacements. The Council will value input from experienced craftsmen who understand the importance of replicating traditional craftsmanship. Examples of previous work on similar properties will offer further reassurance.

Any steps that can be taken to retain original features, such as the inclusion of historic glass or detailing on the window frame, will be favourable. In short, your case will be strengthened if you can prove that any work to be undertaken aims to retain, or exactly replicate the original property.