Stick to wood

"WOOD is Good." That's the message today from Baberch Council as it tries to ensure that owners of listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas retain wood window frames and do not replace them with uPVC varieties.

By Jo Macdonald

"WOOD is Good." That's the message today from Baberch Council as it tries to ensure that owners of listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas retain wood window frames and do not replace them with uPVC varieties.

Richard Ward, Babergh's Conservation and Designer Officer, said: "There are more than 4,000 listed buildings in Babergh and we are noticing a worrying increase in the number of owners who are installing unauthorised uPVC windows."

Babergh takes a robust attitude to such changes and will take the necessary action to secure their removal and replacement with windows more in keeping with the character of the building. Indeed, it is an offence to undertake such works without the approval of Babergh. Furthermore, it is a stated policy of Babergh to refuse such applications on the advice of both the Government and English Heritage.

Mr Ward was also keen to address the modern myth that uPVC windows in unlisted buildings in conservation areas is likely to increase the perceived desirability of such properties.

"In many cases, the retention and repair of existing wooden window frames represents a far better return than the expense of installing uPVC replacements.

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"Wooden window frames also retain the character of many of Babergh's most beautiful areas, uPVC windows may make buildings less attractive to prospective purchasers and visitors," said Mr Ward.

Babergh is able to give general advice to homeowners in conservation areas and owners of listed buildings as to the best ways of repairing wooden window frames and should be contacted on 01473 825794.

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