A window on the world of planning

I was most interested to read your article ‘Residents ‘pane’ over windows’.

The ‘blind eye’ being turned by the planning department is exactly what has happened in my experience.

In February of this year I wrote an email to the planning department of Scarborough Borough Council detailing my concerns that a UPVC window had been installed at the front of the Beechwood Nursing Home.

It is my understanding that in this street, of mostly Victorian properties, there might be planning regulations that determine whether or not this is allowed. I was under the opinion that these type of windows were acceptable at the back of a building, but not at the front. Other comparable windows are sash windows, I think that the ’UPVC look’ compromises the historic nature of the building/area.

I received an automated reply stating that my message had been forwarded to a planning officer.

Nothing more was heard until I wrote in April asking if any action had been taken. The window remained in situ (and is still there today).

The response I received stated that an investigation into the window was not a high priority for the department.

I can appreciate that there will be some cases which would be a higher priority – but now it is September and I have still heard nothing. Seven months of silence is an unacceptable response.

In one sense, perhaps this is indeed a trivial complaint, yet it may also be seen as the thin end of the wedge. We may now have one PVC window in this Victorian house, they may well replace the entire house with PVC windows.

Next, others may follow and before we know it there may be a street full of Victorian houses with windows that look out of place. I can see little point in establishing planning rules if there is no attempt to enforce them.

Would it not be better to nip this in the bud at an early stage, rather than allow a householder to make major changes?

Scarborough has a rich architectural heritage with an outstanding array of beautiful buildings. SBC should be doing all it can to preserving these. mely disappointed that it is not.

Simon Lucas

Esplanade Road