Amendment 247

Part of Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill - Committee (10th Day) – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 20 April 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Hayman of Ullock Baroness Hayman of Ullock Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government) 4:45, 20 April 2023

My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Lexden, for introducing the amendments in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Northbrook.

I just make a very brief comment about the issue of replacement windows. My concern comes from a property that I know; it is in a conservation area and the windows are basically falling to pieces. It is owned by a young couple who applied for planning permission to replace the windows with something very similar, but not like for like—they could not afford like for like. Of course, they were turned down because it did not fit under the planning regulations as they are currently set up. A couple of years on, the outcome is that the windows are falling to pieces and nothing is happening. The couple are stuck, and the windows look dreadful. That is not their fault; they cannot afford to do what the planning inspectors tell them that they have to do.

I am very pleased that these amendments have been brought forward, because they enable us to talk about these anomalies in the way that the planning legislation is currently set up. It tries to protect the look of a place, but if that means that something does not happen because the owners of the property do not have the resources or finances to be able to do it, the property starts to decline. We have the example of windows, but it can be so much more. These are quite specific planning issues, but this is something that needs to be looked at.