Midlothian planners rule new windows at Pathhead cottage open the wrong way

The owner of a cottage in a conservation village was refused planning permission for new windows because they did not open the “traditional” way.

By Marie Sharp, LDR
Monday, 13th June 2022, 10:23 am

Avril Herron applied for retrospective planning permission for the new windows installed in the front of her cottage, on Pathhead High Street.

However Midlothian planners turned down the application after objecting to the change from traditional timber sash and case windows with a more modern uPVC design.

While planners acknowledged that uPVC windows have been allowed to replace timber in some cases where the quality was high, they ruled this was not the case in this instant.

The cottage in Pathhead.

And they pointed to the way the new windows opened outwards instead of up and down as having a significant adverse effect on the conservation area.

Rejecting the application they said: “Windows make a substantial contribution to the character, authenticity and physical integrity of most historic buildings and also to the character and interest of historic streets and places.

“They are an important element of a building’s design.”

They added that while uPVC had been acceptable in some properties in Pathhead and other conservation areas it was subject “in particular to the method of opening, the profile of the windows and the dimensions of the frames matching as near as possible the original windows”.

Planners said the new windows drew an objection from the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland which said the replacements should be “of a traditional design, form, material finish and opening method” as well as objecting to uPVC being used.

Refusing planning permission the council said: “The uPVC framed windows are not of a high quality, traditional design or opening method.

“Therefore, the replacement windows fail to preserve or enhance thecharacter or appearance of the conservation area or the application building,resulting in a significant adverse impact on the character and appearance of the application property and the conservation area.”

Applicant Mrs Herron has now appealed the Midlothian planners’ decision to Scottish Ministers.