Argyll and Bute Council looks likely to adopt a more flexible approach to the replacement of windows in Rothesay’s conservation area - up to a point.
Members of the authority’s Bute and Cowal area committee heard details this week of a draft Technical Working Note which is set to replace the outdated, and much-criticised, Rothesay Window Policy of 1995.
The new guidance creates three ‘prime townscape blocks’ in which timber-framed sliding sash-and-case windows can only be replaced on a ‘like for like’ basis.
Those blocks cover part of Crichton Road (near its junction with Leopold Road), the south side of Castle Street in Port Bannatyne (between St Bruoc and Stuart Street) - and, crucially, the Rothesay ‘town core’.
That core area encompasses all the properties between Victoria Street and Montague Street, the north side of King Street, Castlehill Street, the High Street/Castle Street/Watergate/Guildford Square block, West Princes Street (including the Bute House Hotel), and the west end of East Princes Street.
The new guidelines will be considered - and, probably, approved - by the council’s planning, protective services and licensing committee on December 16.
If adopted they will allow property owners to install UPVC-framed windows in place of wooden versions - if they look the same as the windows they’re replacing.
Ross McLaughlin, from the council’s development and infrastructure department, told the committee on Tuesday: “If approved, the more flexible approach would apply to the vast majority of properties in the conservation area.”
Local councillor Isobel Strong asked whether the strictest rule would apply to Battery Place, and was told by Mr McLaughlin: “When you look at Battery Place as a whole there has been such a degradation that we didn’t think it appropriate to identify it as a ‘prime block’.”