Should we let uPVC blight our beautiful Conservation Villages?

In 2007, rights to replace wooden windows, doors and fascias with uPVC were removed from the residents of the National Park’s conservation areas in order to preserve these areas for future generations.

A change in material on the front of a property in these areas technically needs planning permission.

As residents, we look to the North York Moors National Park Authority to rigorously and fairly enforce these guidelines.

Over the past few years, some caring owners have removed unsympathetic windows, doors and fascias from their properties and restored their properties using original materials. As a result the character of the conservation areas is being steadily enhanced.

However it appears that a minority of owners are still trying to use unsympathetic materials which do not maintain the character of the conservation areas.

The image below shows an example where uPVC has been installed on a Victorian House in a National Park conservation area (run your cursor over the image and click icons for further info).

The National Park Authority is reluctant to move forward with this enforcement case as they see this as a low priority.

There is a strong feeling in the village concerned of unfairness and the setting of a dangerous precedent with this case. There is a concern that if enforcement cases are not pursued by the National Parks Authority then the floodgate will open of similar cases and the conservation areas will not be preserved.

There is also the environmental case for wood as opposed to uPVC. Greenpeace named PVC the poison plastic due to dioxins released during manufacture.

What are your views ?

Contribution by local resident.

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One Response to Should we let uPVC blight our beautiful Conservation Villages?

  1. North York Moors National Park Authority March 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    We agree in the main with the points raised in this post – the built heritage of the North York Moors contributes as much as its landscape and wildlife to making the National Park such a special place. Conservation areas and article 4 directions were introduced to maintain as far as possible traditional building materials and halt the spread of poor quality uPVC which can harm the character of the area’s villages.

    We strive to be consistent with our decisions and actions but given our limited resources, we do need to prioritise the enforcement action we take which needs to be proportionate to the level of harm involved.

    We are aware of the case mentioned and are taking steps to address the concerns raised.

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