MSP backing for uPVC windows for Category B listed building

Monday December 19th 2022

Midlothian-View-Dalkieth-High-Street-windows-upvc-replacement

The new uPVC windows on the top floor can be seen in contrast with the first floor windows which still need to be replaced and are clearly in poor condition.


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Midlothian MSP Colin Beattie has stepped in to support a landlady ordered to rip out new UPVC windows by the local authority.

The owner of the flats at 130 High Street, Dalkeith, said she replaced 16 ‘deteriorating’ wooden window frames with UPVC as a ‘as a matter of urgency’ to protect her tenants’ ‘health’.

However the property is a Category B listed building and Midlothian planners insist the new windows need to be taken out and replaced with a “like for like” alternative.

Now a letter of support from local MSP Colin Beattie has been lodged with Scottish Ministers as part of an appeal against the decision.

In the letter, initially sent to Midlothian Council’s chief executive Dr Grace Vickers, Mr Beattie says he visited the property involved himself and supports the work.

He says: “It is apparent there are already a number of different styles of windows in the immediate vicinity and the style of the installed windows do not, in my opinion, cause a negative visual impact.

“Many of the new windows are to the side and rear of the property and are largely out of the public view.

“During the current cost of living crisis, I am cognizant of the financial pressures upon businesses and individuals.

“I wish to highlight the significant cost of the replacement of the installed windows, and that this cost would have and the negative impact upon the owner.

“I wish to add that the current energy crisis is having a significant impact upon businesses and individuals. The installed windows provide a considerable benefit to reducing both costs and energy use at this property.”

In an enforcement notice issued to the owner Mrs Gloria Crolla Silvestri, and her tenants, the council’s planners say: “The features of original windows are an essential part of the character of the windows and buildings.”

The notice requires those served to “remove all UPVC windows of the property and replace them with white painted timber frame, sash and case windows which match the removed timber windows in glazing pattern, profile of frames and astragals and all externally visible parts of the case/frame.”

Appealing against the notice, agents for Mrs Silvestri, submitted pictures showing some of the windows which have not yet been replaced in comparison to those which have.

Her agents said: “The installed windows achieve a higher performance in comparison to a like-for-like sash and case replacement.

“The works associated with having to replace the new pvc windows and any further works to replace the remaining original windows is a high financial burden on the client at this time.”

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