10th November 2015

Blog: Timber Alternative Windows for Conservation Areas

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What is a Conservation Area ?

Conservation areas exist throughout the whole of the United Kingdom and are considered to be places of great interest to the architectural history of this country. Most Conservation areas are home to dozens of buildings some dating back to before the 16th Century.

Since 1967 around 10,000 conservation areas have been designated across England giving Local Authorities extra controls over demolition and minor external alterations.

Conservation Areas exist to help enhance, protect and promote the history of architecture in the UK and each area is designated as such for its own special features, style or interest to history. Some conservation areas even have ties to historic events making them time capsules of the past!

If you live in a conservation area it is important to note that your home and landscape are protected against serious alteration including cutting down trees and demolishing buildings.

What is an Article 4 Direction?

Under legislation introduced in 1995 local authorities can make further restrictions on the kind of alterations allowed, dependent on how these might affect the key elements of buildings in the conservation area.

This would include adding a porch, painting a house a different colour, changing doors, windows or other architectural features.

The local authority has to take account of public views before doing so.

This additional protection to conservation areas is called an Article 4 Direction

These can require a planning application to be made for certain kinds of work that would otherwise be ‘Permitted Development’

If your area adheres to an Article 4 Direction you will almost certainly be required to obtain planning permission to change windows and doors.

Am I allowed to replace my windows?

If you live in a conservation area there are typically few rules that keep you from maintaining your property but some projects such as major repairs, overhauls or replacement of your windows can cause detriment to the historic value of your home and you may need planning permission from your Local Authority to continue.

If you live in a maisonette or apartment above a commercial property you do not have the freedom to make external changes without planning permission, the same is true for property owners living in converted buildings

Because rules may vary from conservation area and on the basis of your homes historic value, it is always advisable to contact your Local Authority for planning permission before starting on any project.

TVW – A Complete Service

We respect and appreciate that windows are one the most important design features of a building, even small changes have a significant effect on its appearance.

The positioning of the window in the brick opening, the proportions of the sashes, the thickness of the frames, cills and glazing bars, the joints and the material are all essential considerations for a perfect replacement.

Standard timber or uPVC windows will destroy the period character of any traditional property be it in a in a conservation area or not, unfortunately you can see examples of this in any street in the UK

Our designers are skilled in helping you select the correct window to duplicate your cherished windows or to help you restore your property to its original glory

Our surveyors are also sympathetic to the requirements, taking careful note of the positioning of the window in the brickwork, the dimensions and detail of architrave and mouldings to be replaced, preparing a detailed report for out skilled craftsmen

Our craftsmen are specially trained to replace windows in conservation areas, they have the skill and finesse to work in your home, and respect that they have the very important job of finalising months of planning, deliberating and designing

Before starting any project in a conservation area we consult with an architect who understands the application and restrictions associated with planning permission and can help us work with your Planning Department to help you get the permission you need to replace your windows.

We understand the need to upgrade and improve your home for added comfort, security but we are very aware of the fact that these choices must not compromise the style and character of your property, visual appearance and the value of your property , we are very passionate about every project we are entrusted with !

We have developed a range of windows and doors specifically for homes in conservation areas.


We have our own range of engineered timber sliding sashes and flush casement windows available in Meranti Hardwood or European redwood.

The frame thickness and detail have been carefully considered so that we can replace windows in the most sensitive of Conservation areas.

We can duplicate any cill thickness, provide any Farrow & Ball or RAL colour.

Evolution Timber Alternative

Evolution have created an amazing timber look alike flush sash window, the frame joints, frame depth, glazing bars and detail are hard to distinguish from a timber window. The windows are manufactured by hand very much like timber, so offering a maintenance free option to those who never want to paint another window!

Timber Alternative Windows Gallery


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