Triple Glazed Windows in Conservation Area: Council orders removal of energy efficient windows

28 June 2021

An unsuspecting landlord has found himself on the wrong side of Portsmouth City Council’s after replacing single glazed windows with more energy efficient triple glazed windows.

Mike West, the landlord of a four-flood rental property in Southsea, Portsmouth, has been ordered to remove the triple glazed windows and put back the original, single glazed windows, despite the new windows providing much higher levels of energy efficiency, due to the property being in an area classified as a conservation area.

Triple glazed window frame

This enforcement action came despite other properties in the area having similar windows, with Portsmouth City Council saying “there are other uPVC windows on the street. We can’t do anything about these, because we didn’t know about the changes at the time, and legally too much time has passed for us to take action.”

The landlord fears that, should the single glazed windows have to be put back, the property’s energy efficiency band could fall from Band C to Band E, which would be reflected on any future energy performance certificate.

As the UK Government continues to push for more environmentally-friendly and energy efficient homes, it seems increasingly difficult for conservation policies to be followed, as many energy efficiency measures require significant changes to a property. This has raised concerns of Government policy and local authority policy being at odds with one another. For the landlord, Mike West said that the policy of conservation areas was in “total disconnect with government policy”, calling for modernisation of conservation policies.