Council orders ‘Notting Hill’ landlord to replace windows - four years after fitting them

13 Magdalen Street, where sash windows have been replaced with PVCu encasing. Picture: Archant

13 Magdalen Street, where sash windows have been replaced with PVCu encasing. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A landlord who replaced the sash windows of a listed building in Norwich has been ordered to change them back - despite claiming the job was done around four years ago.

Norwich City Council has taken enforcement action against Timothy Harber, of Earsham Properties Ltd, over the windows of 13 Magdalen Street in Norwich.

The property, which is home to Ahead in Style hairdressers and house of multiple occupancy upstairs, is one of a number of listed buildings along the street, meaning it is subject to conservation demands.

A while ago, Mr Harber removed a number of the building's original sash windows, replacing them with new PVC-u casement ones.

Due to the building's listing though, Norwich City Council has ordered Mr Harber to reverse the changes, which were made without planning permission, and re-install sash windows.

The notice was served in November 2018, but the landlord has since lodged an appeal against it with the Planning Inspectorate.

In papers submitted with the appeal. Mr Harber argued that as he believed the work had been carried out more than four years ago, they should be immune to enforcement action.

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He wrote: "The street and its facades look dirty and poor, windows and frontages look grim and need replacing but the costs of complying with conservation area wooden-only replacements make the cost excessive.

"To make matters worse, there are cases of PVC windows in other properties nearby so by enforcing this development the street will stay depressed when the damage is already done.

"I do believe that conservation is a good thing, but with regards to Magdalen Street, let's get priorities right.

"Let's encourage people to come in and open new businesses and form lovely modern 'Notting Hill' type areas."

City Hall, however, argues that the windows are out of character with the street and impact on the appearance of the property and the street scene.

Mr Harber and the city council have until Wednesday, October 23 to submit their full arguments to the Planning Inspectorate before a decision will be made if the windows must be replaced.

The appeal will be decided in due course.

MORE: Norwich hairdressers ordered to repaint after choosing wrong shade of grey

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