Double glazing on the Alton Estate – should there be a planning application?

Picture taken of blocks on Alton East.

Something may be missing regarding the double glazing works taking place at the moment, though then again it may not……based on the Ibsley Gardens maisonettes needing planning permission for double glazing to be installed it was noticed that there does not seem to be planning applications in place for the current double glazing activity taking place on the Alton Estate.

Hopefully we’ll find out soon what the situation is, though in the meantime please see an edited email chain beneath which tried to understand what is happening.

The question has been asked of Councillor Ambache (no feedback yet) and the Council is looking into this as highlighted below.

Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 6:53 PM
Subject: Double glazing on the Alton Estate

many thanks for the below email.

From: WBC
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 9:12 AM
Subject: RE: Double glazing on the Alton Estate

Yes planning permission extends to buildings not within conservation areas. Replacement windows to flats, whether inside or outside a conservation area, require planning permission, whereas single dwelling houses benefit from what is called permitted development where in certain circumstances planning permission is not required for alterations and extensions.

Sent: 10 July 2017 19:12
Subject: Double glazing on the Alton Estate

many thanks for the response below.

Can it be confirmed that the planning permission also extends to buildings not within the Conservation area?

Presently, there are six blocks in the Alton East undergoing the uPVC work and it was not long ago that maisonettes in nearby Ibsley Gardens (planning application 2013/0771) which were not in a conservation area underwent a planning application?

From: WBC
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2017 12:45 PM
Subject: RE: Double glazing on the Alton Estate

I have been passed your query on the installation of the replacement double glazed windows on the Alton Estate. Firstly apologies for the delay in getting a response to you. We have been investigating exactly what changes have taken place and if any permission has been sought.

In response to the points in your email I can confirm that:
1. Given the buildings are in a conservation area planning permission should be sought for the changes to the windows.
2. There is no requirement to consult non-Council bodies on the changes to the windows by virtue of the buildings not being listed.

There are certain circumstances where the Council would not require a planning application to be submitted for replacement windows. This appears to have been the incorrect assumption in this case. Further advise from the Planning Department has now been issued to the Housing Department advising that a retrospective application should be submitted for the new windows to be formally assessed. Upon receipt of a planning application the Planning Department will put up a site notice at each block where the windows have been replaced informing residents about the application and how they can comment.

I hope that help explains the situation, but please do come back to me should you have any further questions.


Sent: Thursday, July 6, 2017 6:39 PM

Subject: Double glazing on the Alton Estate

is there any progress please regarding what the position is?

It is almost a month this was first raised.


Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2017 8:10 PM

Subject: Double glazing on the Alton Estate

I can appreciate that this is an unexpected, and most unfortunate, burden on the Council, though 2.5 weeks to not receive any response whatsoever is not particularly good.

From: WBC

Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2017 9:27 AM

Subject: RE: Double glazing on the Alton Estate

I am taking the issue up with the Team in the Housing Department responsible, to ascertain their understanding of the situation. However, I’m afraid the same Team is responsible for investigating and progressing fire safety issues on Council blocks in the wake of the Grenfell fire. I am sure in those circumstances you will understand that getting a clear response is taking a little longer than might otherwise be expected. I will press as far as possible, and update you when I have further information.


Sent: 28 June 2017 21:44


Subject: Double glazing on the Alton Estate

thank you for your email, which is the first response received since raising this on 9th June.

After the 20th June there were follows on 22nd June and 25th June and to date there have been no answers to any of the questions raised.

Is there any idea as to when answers will be forthcoming?

From: WBC

Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:45 AM

Subject: FW: Double glazing on the Alton Estate

Your e-mail of 20th June below has been passed to me for response. I will look into the matter and respond to you once I have an understanding of the situation.

To: WBC; Ambache Jeremy (Cllr) <>

Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2017 1:51 PM

Subject: Double glazing on the Alton Estate

it has been two weeks since the query of whether the Council required planning permission for the changing of windows and as of yet there has been no reply. Given the delay it seems to strongly indicate that no planning application has been obtained and there is some scurrying around behind the scenes to ascertain the position?

I’ve added Councillors Field and Belton (Chair and opposition speaker of the Wandsworth (Conservation Area) Advisory Committee) to this email should they have anything to add.

An additional query to add please is what is the reason for planning application 2013/0771 if this current batch of double glazing installations did not require planning application?

To: WBC; Ambache Jeremy (Cllr) <>

Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2017 8:54 PM

Subject: Double glazing on the Alton Estate

are either of you able to answer the queries please?


Cc: Ambache Jeremy (Cllr) <>;

Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 6:01 AM

Subject: Double glazing on the Alton Estate

can you please revert on the emails below.

I am especially keen to understand what the position is regarding whether a planning application was required. The following text was received from the 20 Century Society when they were asked the question about whether a planning was required;

“The council are only required to consult us in relation to proposed demolition, although we encourage consultation on windows etc.

If the windows are being altered on listed buildings in the CA without listed building consent and planning permission, this would be a breach of planning control. For unlisted buildings, it depends whether or not there is an Article 4 direction within the Conservation Area which would require applications to be made to the local authority for replacement windows. If there is, you can contact the planning enforcement group to report it, and they may take action and require windows to be changed. The CA appraisal states the following:

3.7 Works to maisonettes, flat blocks and houses converted to flats: These buildings do not benefit from permitted development rights and therefore most external alterations will require planning permission, including: Changing windows and front doors… (p. 55)

The CA appraisal also states the following:

2.5 There were various types of windows used on the Estate. It is important that the correct type of window is retained in the conservation area to maintain the unity of the houses and blocks. Where lost, owners are advised to reinstate the correct type of window taking care to faithfully replicate the details and dimensions. (p. 51)

2.6 The installation of windows of a different pattern, design and construction material, such as aluminium should be avoided, Upvc windows usually fail to replicate original detail sufficiently and are also not recommended. Installing new airtight windows can cause damp and therefore the correct ventilation is essential. (p. 52)

I would recommend that you contact the conservation group and planning enforcement at Wandsworth”.


Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2017 8:35 PM

Subject: Double glazing on the Alton Estate

in addition to the below query can you provide information as to the reason why there is the following planning application –

Planning application: 2013/0771

Proposal Replacement windows and doors from metal/timber to UPVC together with external & communal decorations & repairs; to 28-58 Alton Road, 1-20 & 21-35 Fontley Way, 81-103, 105-127 & 110-148 Ibsley Gardens.

However, for the current batch of properties in tower blocks which are having double glazing installed there does not seem to any planning application and most, if not all, are within the Alton Conservation Area. What is the reason for these properties having a planning application and not the tower blocks?

At the upcoming Roehampton Forum this will be mentioned and it will be good to have an update for this meeting.


Sent: Friday, June 9, 2017 3:24 PM

Subject: Double glazing on the Alton Estate

Could you please provide me with some background to the following query.

On the Alton Estate there are major works on the Alton Estate which involve double glazing being installed on buildings which are within a conservation area.

When this was mentioned at a local amenity society meeting this raised eyebrows as there had been no mention of a planning application.

This leads to the following queries

  1. Given the buildings are within a conservation area should there be a planning application? If not, what’s the reason for no planning application?
  2. As the buildings are within a conservation area, has there been a consultation with non-Council bodies regarding such works?
  3. If the answer to question 2 is “yes” can these non-Council bodies please be named.

Thank you in advance of your reply.


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