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the significance of the heritage asset and the impact the proposals will have that will determine the application.

The planning department can provide advice before and during the application process, so the best strategy is to consult them early to avoid any unpleasant surprises. The planning department may require an applicant to provide drawings and samples of proposed materials. These are all additional costs to be taken into consideration. And whoever has responsibility for the windows, the planning department also has the final say on whether all the windows in a particular building must be replaced, or whether some can be replaced and others left as they are.

FENSA FENSA is the government authorised Competent Persons Scheme for the replacement of windows, doors and roof lights in England and Wales. While replacement windows are covered by the Building Regulations, if the installer of the new windows is FENSA-certified, a FENSA Certificate can be provided to demonstrate compliance with the Building Regulation requirements.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 A window replacement project will be covered by the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (soon to be updated), which will influence the design of the windows to improve health and safety. For example, modern windows should be reversible to facilitate cleaning safely. Dependent on the scale of the window replacement project, the works may be notifiable to the Health and Safety Executive.

Landlord and Tenant Act A window replacement project carried out by a landlord, under a major works project, will require statutory consultation under Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

Further considerations Once negotiations are completed, there are still issues to handle. Replacing windows will create other issues inside and outside the building. Inevitably, there will be damage caused to walls and decorations within each apartment. Frustratingly, its effect will differ from flat to flat, particularly when one leaseholder may have much more expensive interiors; gold leaf wallpaper is much harder to make good than a wall painted in white Dulux!

Any damage and repairs to internal finishes may need to form part of the application for listed building consent, such as where damage to internal finishes will occur. This is likely to affect buildings that have Grade I and II* listed status.

In some cases the window contractor will take responsibility for the internal finish. In others the landlord will arrange for a separate

Issue 20

contractor to go through every flat to re- plaster and decorate once the work is completed. Either way, this will need to be agreed in advance with strict budgeting and timetabling.

Clearly these issues will be particularly important in the case of listed buildings, and the planning department will want to see evidence that they have been fully considered.

Conclusion In short, a windows replacement project is far from straightforward. And as with almost every other element of building maintenance and major works, it will benefit from detailed planning and objective decision making, especially in the case of listed buildings. This is where a chartered surveyor comes in.

A window cleaner ensures transparent glass. A

About listed buildings Listing marks a building's special architectural and historic interest, with the aim of protecting it for posterity. This does not mean the owner is not allowed to do anything to the building at all, or even to demolish it, but that it is brought under the remit of the planning system so that any proposed alterations are considered in the context of its special interest. The older a building is, the more likely it is to be listed. All properties built before 1700 are listed unless they have already been changed beyond recognition, and most built between 1700 and 1840 are also listed. Buildings of the period after the Second World War require special consideration, but buildings that are less than 30 years old are very rarely listed. In England there are approximately 374,081 listed building entries.

Categories of listed buildings as defined by English Heritage

Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important; only 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade 1.

Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest; 5.5% of listed buildings are Grade II*.

Grade II buildings are nationally important and of special interest; 92% of all listed buildings are in this class and it is the most likely grade of listing for a home owner.

Listed status covers a whole building, inside and out. Naturally, Grade I buildings are the most carefully protected, while permission is most likely to be granted for heritage- sensitive alterations to Grade II buildings. The first step is for the owner to apply for listed building consent.

good surveyor ensures a transparent project. They will take into account the requirements of landlords, leaseholders, contractors, planning and CDM, or Construction (Design and Management) Regulations. They can also calculate a lifecycle cost for the project, balancing initial prices with long-term maintenance, along with secondary considerations including the effect of the project on the rest of the property.

The key to a successful project is the avoidance of surprises, the management of expectations and the integration of everyone's requirements. The negotiations, planning, work and finishing required will take at least six months even when replacing windows in buildings that are not listed. In some cases, the process can take years. So it is vital to make the right decisions, and to clarify the legal and planning aspects from the very start.

Obtaining listed building consent

Listed building consent is administered by local authorities through their planning departments and these should always be the first port of call. In the first instance, they will confirm whether consent is indeed required for the proposed work. If so, they will indicate what might be acceptable or how the proposals could be adapted to make them more likely to succeed. Common works requiring consent might include knocking down internal walls, painting over brickwork or altering fireplaces and, of course, the replacement of windows or doors.

Once an application has been submitted, in the case of relatively small-scale projects, the planning department should be able to come to a decision to within eight weeks, but major proposals can take up to 13 weeks (and of course, any complications can make the process much longer). This includes a statutory 21 day consultation period during which neighbours and other stakeholders are consulted. In particularly important or complicated cases, the planning department will contact English Heritage for advice. If consent is refused the applicant has six months in which to appeal to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, or they can amend their plans, based on the written advice provided, and re- apply.

Carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building is a criminal offence and individuals can be prosecuted. A planning authority can also insist that all work carried out without consent is reversed. Moreover, an owner will have a great deal of trouble selling a property which has not been granted listed building consent for work undertaken.

Julian Davies MRICS is managing director of chartered building surveyors Earl Kendrick Limited Tel: 0203 667 1510 53

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