The council ordered an apartment owner to remove UPVC windows on his East Pollokshields property despite claiming “hundreds” of homes have them.
Bilal Shabeer appealed the council’s decision after ruling that “non-conforming” residential windows had been installed without permission in the reserve area. Mr. Speer must now replace it with a cover and case in wood.
In an appeal to the Scottish government, Mr Speer said: “I didn’t quite know I needed permission to install windows on this property. There are hundreds of apartments in Pollokshields that have UPVC windows and I’m not in a financial position to change windows.”
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He also said that his work had been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and he felt that changing the windows would cause him great suffering.
The council discovered windows after a complaint.
A Scottish Government reporter visited the apartment at 1/1, 233 Kenmore Street while the appeal was being considered and also noted several other UPVC windows in the area. However, the reporter agreed with the board and endorsed the enforcement notice, which states that the windows must be removed.
The reporter said: “The appellant notes that there are many other UPVC windows in apartments in the area, and I noticed that this was the case during my site inspection. However, I also noticed that a large percentage of the apartments still had original or traditional fine-grained original or wooden casement windows and boxes. .
In a decision notice, the reporter added: “The Board makes clear that many other UPVC windows in the region are no longer enforceable because they have been in place for more than four years. It indicates that it does not have sufficient resources to actively search for planning control violations but seeks to continually act on unauthorized windows in protection areas by investigating incoming complaints and issuing enforcement notices when there is an actionable breach of planning control that goes against policy.”
The Glasgow City Council enforcement notice to Mr Speer stated that there had been “unauthorized installation of non-conforming windows” on the property. She said the windows go against policy and directives.
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“Replacement windows not only fail to maintain or enhance the visual comfort of the building and the surrounding East Pollokshields Conservation Area are considered detracting from this,” added the implementation notice, which provided reasons for the action.
Mr. Speer’s appeal stated that the actions required in the Notice of Enforcement went beyond what was necessary to correct any breach of planning control.
But the council argued that “the steps required in the notice were not excessive because the windows in terms of profile, method of opening and materials do not comply with the policy, and therefore no application was invited because the only action was for the windows to be removed and replaced with those that comply with the policy.”
In response to Mr. Speer’s comment about other apartments that have UPVC windows, the board said: “The enforcement officer has extensive local knowledge of the area and is aware that there are a number of unauthorized windows in the wider area. Many of them have not been the subject of a public complaint and are now safe from enforcement action. They were installed more than four years ago.
The Scottish Reporter issued the appeal decision on May 12.