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Policy contravened

While the introduction of the Government’s Green Deal may offer tax cut incentives to thermally efficient homes, many Conservation Officers under English Heritage guidance stand resolutely defiant against many listed properties, and those in Conservation areas, being sensibly renovated to reduce CO2 emissions demanded by Government targets.

Mumford & Wood claims that English Heritage and Conservation Officers ignore every green initiative endorsed by everyone active against global warming, and they have a head-in-the-sand position, which is not only diametrically opposite to every known building improvement criteria but also forces further damage into the property fabric they are claiming to protect.

The company said that everyone agrees that retaining correct aesthetics is the key to preservation of the nation’s architectural heritage but period replacement windows and doors that are thermally efficient and virtually indistinguishable from originals, with elegant and traditional sightlines, should be mandated.

“English Heritage and Conservation Officers do a fantastic job but it is widely agreed they need to embrace today’s high performance materials,” said Chris Wood, sales and marketing director, Mumford & Wood. “Timber is a naturally renewable material which allows specialist manufacturers to combine historical proportions and sections while meeting today’s energy and acoustic standards. If the Conservation lobby does not alter its approach, I fear it will lose the right to enforce strict rules where they are required, and guide us more generally where necessary to preserve an overall-areas appearance.”

Properties with single glazed windows and ill-fitting doors can be a misery for owners and outweigh the pleasure of living in an aesthetically beautiful Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian property, Mumford & Wood said. The need to upgrade these properties as demanded by Government policies should be high on the agenda for the comfort of their occupants as well as to contribute to the UK’s targets of an 80% reduction of UK carbon emissions by 2050 (over 1990 levels.) To meet these targets domestic emissions from residential buildings need to be cut by almost 30% over the next decade.

“It beggars belief that preventing period property owners, and those situated in Conservation areas, from achieving greater levels of comfort and security with sympathetic replacements is allowed to happen,” says Chris Wood. “This is in total contravention to Government legislation and the goals to reduce CO2 emissions but there seems to be double standards here.”