Planning Permission to Replace Window Frames in Listed Buildings

Securing planning permission to replace window frames in listing buildings can be tough. Our experts talk you through what to include in your request

Listed buildings are iconic and steeped in history, and planning officers across the UK want to make sure they are being properly looked after by their owners.

This is why you must apply for planning permission or listed building consent if you wish to make alterations to the property, and that includes replacing the existing windows and frames.

When submitting planning permission to replace windows, officers want to see that owners understand the need to respect and preserve the building’s character as much as possible.

In most cases, they will want to see that owners have considered repairing the windows rather than replacing them and that a valid argument is made for installing new window frames.

Below, we talk you through the factors to consider when submitting an application to replace windows in a listed building.

Reasons to replace rather than restore:

While planning officers would rather the original window frames remain, there are many valid reasons for replacing them with new ones.

This could be because the frames are damaged beyond the point of repair, or the cost of the repair work far exceeds the cost of replacing the windows.

Other reasons may include improving insulation and ensuring properties are water-tight and also to provided added security especially if the property is being used as a residence.

They key is to ensure your application is properly considered and that you take time to build your case, providing strong reasoning for planners to approve your request.

Making a strong case:

For planning officers to approve your application to replace window frames in a listed building, you will need to provide what is known as “justifiable cause”.

To do this, you will need to spend time putting your application together including any evidence to strengthen and support your request.

For example, if the existing windows have rotted beyond repair you will need to provide proof and explain why installing new windows is the better option.

Supporting evidence can include images and video as well as expert testimony and quotes for repairing and quotes for replacing the window frames.

The key is to provide as much information as possible in your application and make clear why new window frames are ultimately the better option than restoring the existing frames.

Work with a window specialist:

One of the best ways to strengthen your application is to work with a window frame supplier as they will be able to provide much of the supporting evidence you need.

This can include technical drawings and designs of what the new window frames will look like once installed, as well as expert testimony and quotes.

Planners will also be pleased to see that you are working with a window specialist with experience in installing new frames in listed buildings.

This can go a long way to planning officers making a decision in your favour as they can clearly see you respect the history and style of the building and are working with experts.

Be patient:

Once you have compiled and submitted your planning application to replace the window frames in a listed building it is important to be patient.

Planning applications take weeks and more often than not months to be considered, discussed and decided upon – in some cases you may also be asked to tweak designs and resubmit.

Planning can be a testing experience at times, but if you have a strong application and can prove justifiable cause, it has a much better chance of being approved.

Remember, planning officers are perfectly reasonable people and want to make sure that listed buildings retain their history and beauty for many more years to come.