Work refused on historic house in Whitburn Village over heritage concerns

Proposals for conservatory works at a Grade-II listed building have been refused by council planners over heritage fears.

By Chris Binding
Monday, 9th May 2022, 6:05 pm

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South Tyneside Council’s planning department registered an application for a property in Front Street, Whitburn, in November 2021.

The householder application aimed to remove the roof and all windows from a conservatory at the rear of the property and to install a new roof and windows.

A design and access statement submitted with the plans said the works were needed as the existing structure and windows were “old, inadequate and showing signs of decay in numerous places”.

Picture from Google Streetview.

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As a result, these issues were leading to “failed paintwork, decaying timber and consequently water ingress and damage to the property”.

The application proposed new UPVc windows to allow the conservatory to continue to be used as living space.

Applicants said the “traditional style would be retained to keep the character of the house within its surroundings and utilising modern materials would ensure durability whilst complimenting the existing building”.

Council planners acknowledged the works would not harm the character or appearance of Whitburn Conservation Area as the conservatory would “not be visible from the public domain”.

During consultation on the plans however, concerns were raised by the council’s Historic Environment Officer over the proposed use of UPVc windows.

The officer said the applicant “failed to demonstrate that the change is appropriate to the character and appearance of the building and will not harm its significance as a heritage asset.”

After considering all representations, South Tyneside Council’s planning department refused the planning application on April 20, 2022.

The main issues included proposals for UPVc windows which were not considered an “appropriate material” for the application site.

A decision report reads: “The applicant has been made aware that the proposed UPVc windows would not be an acceptable alteration to this important heritage asset under current planning policy and the council’s preference has been explained.

“But no amended scheme has been provided and the application is therefore being determined as it stands.

“The council’s suggested alternative design approach does not restrict the design of the replacement windows but instead simply sought a more sympathetic material to the heritage asset instead of UPVc.

“It is therefore considered that the proposed replacement UPVc windows for the existing conservatory addition would be an unacceptable alteration to this listed building.”

The applicant has the right to lodge an appeal with the Secretary of State.

For more information on the application and council decision, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference: ST/0677/21/HFUL