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High Court quashes inspector’s ruling on uPVC window in Haringey

Words: Huw Morris

The High Court has quashed a planning inspector’s decision to back enforcement action by the London Borough of Haringey over a homeowner’s uPVC window frames.

Paul Muir received the enforcement notice claiming a breach of planning control after he installed the windows at his home in a conservation area.

He claimed that 90 per cent of windows in neighbouring homes were also uPVC, although no action had been taken against their owners. He also contended that the uPVC window did not “materially affect the building’s external appearance”.

The inspector upheld Haringey’s action after defining the “building” under consideration as the block of three terraced houses that includes Muir’s flat.

Mrs Justice Lieven ruled that the inspector gave inadequate reasons for concluding that the relevant “building” was the whole terrace when “in common parlance each house in a terrace would be considered a building”. The inspector should have focused solely on the visual impact of the window on the building  and the prevalence of uPVC windows elsewhere in the conservation area was “plainly legally irrelevant”.

Image credit | iStock