Fury over demand to change recently-installed windows at Darwen business

Lancashire Telegraph: The windows that have to go The windows that have to go

A BUSINESSMAN has slammed a decision that means he will have to rip out recently-installed uPVC windows.

Steven Frisby bought the former Lloyds Bank in Croft Street, Darwen, last year and spent £200,000 renovating it.

As part of the renovations he removed old window frames to install new white uPVC ones.

The building now houses furniture shop Jack’s Discount Store.

But Blackburn with Darwen planning department said he must remove the frames because the building is in a conservation area.

Mr Frisby appealed the council’s order but the decision has been up held by the Planning Inspectorate.

A furious Mr Frisby said he would be taking his future business plans out of Darwen as a result.

He said: “We had one or two ideas for Darwen but I’m not going to bother any more as I am sick of this council. I spent £200,000 ren- ovating a derelict building and removed horrible old windows to replace them with new ones.

“They are now going to twist the knife and make me spend up to £10,000 replacing them.

“I haven’t got the money to be doing things like this.

“We were looking at a shop in Market Street but I can’t bring myself to go through all this again.

“I’m just going to let it stand empty now and go and buy a shop in Wigan.”

Darwen councillor Paul Browne, who slammed the council’s decision in August, said he was ‘disgusted’.

He said: “I was disappointed with the planning officer’s recommendation, esspecially when there are other businesses in the conservation area who have done the same and they haven’t said anything to them.

“It will make people think again about setting up businesses in Darwen.”

Sunnyhurst councillor Brian Taylor said: “We have got to consider that the council and private businesses have spent more than £2million on the conservation area.

“It wouldn’t be fair to them to allow plastic windows to spoil the whole ambience of that area.

“We want to make Darwen an attractive market town for people to come and shop in. As it stands, that building sends out all the wrong signals.”

Comments (21)

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1:32pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Excluded again says...

It is a conservation area. If people can ignore the planning rules in conservation areas when they like, then what could ever be conserved?

Darwen folk are often, rightly, concerned about preserving their distinct history and heritage. Not much of that will happen if there are no rules to protect it.

In this case, the Council's decision has been upheld by an independent Planning Inspector.

Mr Frisby would be well advised to check whether buildings he is making changes to are in conservation areas before spending a lot of money on making changes.
It is a conservation area. If people can ignore the planning rules in conservation areas when they like, then what could ever be conserved? Darwen folk are often, rightly, concerned about preserving their distinct history and heritage. Not much of that will happen if there are no rules to protect it. In this case, the Council's decision has been upheld by an independent Planning Inspector. Mr Frisby would be well advised to check whether buildings he is making changes to are in conservation areas before spending a lot of money on making changes. Excluded again

1:44pm Fri 22 Feb 13

A Darener says...

The Council should also be covered by the same conservation area rules. Just look across the road at the town hall building. Down the side of it are the most hideous black painted shutters. Making the building look like a prison. At the rear of Gregg's are two air conditioning units mounted on the outside wall. Again hideous looking things. Below them half blocking the pavement are two large skips for waste. Alway there and always smelling. Why doesn't the council do something about those? The tobacco kiosk also needs its facias replacing before they fall down. At least the window replacements are in keeping with the building. Even the cafe on the corner has tatty windows that desperately need painting or replacing.
The Council should also be covered by the same conservation area rules. Just look across the road at the town hall building. Down the side of it are the most hideous black painted shutters. Making the building look like a prison. At the rear of Gregg's are two air conditioning units mounted on the outside wall. Again hideous looking things. Below them half blocking the pavement are two large skips for waste. Alway there and always smelling. Why doesn't the council do something about those? The tobacco kiosk also needs its facias replacing before they fall down. At least the window replacements are in keeping with the building. Even the cafe on the corner has tatty windows that desperately need painting or replacing. A Darener

2:16pm Fri 22 Feb 13

NotMark says...

I could not agree more with Excluded again.

If a businessman is sufficiently inept as to purchase property in a conservation area and not use basic common sense to check as to how this effects his development plans prior to spending £200k then he only has himself to blame.

The quote "They are now going to twist the knife and make me spend up to £10,000 replacing them" is simply untrue.

Ignoring the fact this suggests spending £10,001 would not be acceptable whilst spending £0.01 would be fine, clearly £10,000 is a arbitrary figure chosen in a poor attempt to show how unfair this judgement is when in reality it will cost nothing like £10,000 to replace a few windows and the cost is actually irrelevant as this is not the councils fault.

Regardless of any poor business planning involved, I am sure Darwen needs another second hand, pram filled discount store as much as it needs another take-away. If the end result from this tale of woe is that future ‘poorly planned’ business developments will now be moved to Wigan then I am reasonably confident that Darwen will remain for the most part unaffected and uninterested.
I could not agree more with Excluded again. If a businessman is sufficiently inept as to purchase property in a conservation area and not use basic common sense to check as to how this effects his development plans prior to spending £200k then he only has himself to blame. The quote "They are now going to twist the knife and make me spend up to £10,000 replacing them" is simply untrue. Ignoring the fact this suggests spending £10,001 would not be acceptable whilst spending £0.01 would be fine, clearly £10,000 is a arbitrary figure chosen in a poor attempt to show how unfair this judgement is when in reality it will cost nothing like £10,000 to replace a few windows and the cost is actually irrelevant as this is not the councils fault. Regardless of any poor business planning involved, I am sure Darwen needs another second hand, pram filled discount store as much as it needs another take-away. If the end result from this tale of woe is that future ‘poorly planned’ business developments will now be moved to Wigan then I am reasonably confident that Darwen will remain for the most part unaffected and uninterested. NotMark

2:25pm Fri 22 Feb 13

useyourhead says...

whilst any renovation and investment is a great thing if you buy in a conservation area or a listed building you are obliged to check what is acceptable.
-
Don't forget, it will also protect your investment from suffering the same fate from next door!
whilst any renovation and investment is a great thing if you buy in a conservation area or a listed building you are obliged to check what is acceptable. - Don't forget, it will also protect your investment from suffering the same fate from next door! useyourhead

2:40pm Fri 22 Feb 13

happycyclist says...

It's not the white window frames that are out-of-keeping with the town centre, but the huge, hideous, garish, yellow and red posters he fills the windows with.
And how the hell does the pound superstore in the old Ethel Austin store get away with THAT?
It's not the white window frames that are out-of-keeping with the town centre, but the huge, hideous, garish, yellow and red posters he fills the windows with. And how the hell does the pound superstore in the old Ethel Austin store get away with THAT? happycyclist

2:40pm Fri 22 Feb 13

jgb12348 says...

Does not stop mosques for various updates things not inkeeping with british culture with onions on their roofs.Where does that fit in with local conservation?
Does not stop mosques for various updates things not inkeeping with british culture with onions on their roofs.Where does that fit in with local conservation? jgb12348

3:17pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Excluded again says...

jgb12348 wrote:
Does not stop mosques for various updates things not inkeeping with british culture with onions on their roofs.Where does that fit in with local conservation?
The rules on conservation areas only apply in conservation areas.

If you go into Darwen Town Centr and count the number of onion domes, it will not take you very long to count to 'zero'.
[quote][p][bold]jgb12348[/bold] wrote: Does not stop mosques for various updates things not inkeeping with british culture with onions on their roofs.Where does that fit in with local conservation?[/p][/quote]The rules on conservation areas only apply in conservation areas. If you go into Darwen Town Centr and count the number of onion domes, it will not take you very long to count to 'zero'. Excluded again

3:26pm Fri 22 Feb 13

DarwenDH says...

I agree with most of the comments above, I was disappointed to see what had become of one of the better looking buildings in Darwen town centre hopefully Mr Frisby will relocate all of his bric a brac,junk shop empire to Wigan.
I agree with most of the comments above, I was disappointed to see what had become of one of the better looking buildings in Darwen town centre hopefully Mr Frisby will relocate all of his bric a brac,junk shop empire to Wigan. DarwenDH

3:29pm Fri 22 Feb 13

sean_brfc says...

The yellow signs in those windows are a disgrace. Well done to the council for making sure that an attractive old building has the appropriate windows.
The yellow signs in those windows are a disgrace. Well done to the council for making sure that an attractive old building has the appropriate windows. sean_brfc

3:46pm Fri 22 Feb 13

NotMark says...

The headline should actually read:

"Man with slightly humorous name pays vastly over the odds for something he can not keep and nobody wants! Local resident blames Islam."
The headline should actually read: "Man with slightly humorous name pays vastly over the odds for something he can not keep and nobody wants! Local resident blames Islam." NotMark

4:47pm Fri 22 Feb 13

allan1957 says...

Does this apply to all the windows in former Lloyds bank building and the ones pictured which are were Henrys used to have a shop which was shuttered for quite a while and was a eyesore, By the way still nothing has been done over the eyesore on EquitySt which is slowly demolishing itself everytime we have bad weather bits keep falling off it
Does this apply to all the windows in former Lloyds bank building and the ones pictured which are were Henrys used to have a shop which was shuttered for quite a while and was a eyesore, By the way still nothing has been done over the eyesore on EquitySt which is slowly demolishing itself everytime we have bad weather bits keep falling off it allan1957

5:02pm Fri 22 Feb 13

darwenTower says...

For clarity, what is it the council want the upvc windows changing to?

I presume the council can't force what he places in the windows, even if he does change them. They will still have the signs in them, and they seem to be causing the most emotion.

Bottom line is he has opened up a business in Darwen and refurbished a derelict building. We need more like him.
I'm no fan of upvc but they hardly ruin the overall effect of the building do they? It's hardly as if he has covered the place in industrial cladding!

What is it we are conserving in Darwen? Poverty & dereliction?
For clarity, what is it the council want the upvc windows changing to? I presume the council can't force what he places in the windows, even if he does change them. They will still have the signs in them, and they seem to be causing the most emotion. Bottom line is he has opened up a business in Darwen and refurbished a derelict building. We need more like him. I'm no fan of upvc but they hardly ruin the overall effect of the building do they? It's hardly as if he has covered the place in industrial cladding! What is it we are conserving in Darwen? Poverty & dereliction? darwenTower

5:22pm Fri 22 Feb 13

NotMark says...

The conservation laws are both simple and logical. Anyone with development plans and even basic intelligence would check to see how local regulations may impact these plans before investing £200k. Permission can be given to step outside of the guide lines if the proposed development offers significant benefits to the community however junk shops selling second hand prams and damaged bedside tables fail to provide such benefits.

To quote the guidance document 'The use of timber for external joinery such as doors and windows is preferable to plastic or aluminium. Paint is usually the correct finish for timber, staining is not a traditional finish and should therefore not be used.'

http://www.blackburn
.gov.uk/Lists/Downlo
adableDocuments/2015
-DL-conservation-are
as-supplementary-pla
nning-gudance.pdf
The conservation laws are both simple and logical. Anyone with development plans and even basic intelligence would check to see how local regulations may impact these plans before investing £200k. Permission can be given to step outside of the guide lines if the proposed development offers significant benefits to the community however junk shops selling second hand prams and damaged bedside tables fail to provide such benefits. To quote the guidance document 'The use of timber for external joinery such as doors and windows is preferable to plastic or aluminium. Paint is usually the correct finish for timber, staining is not a traditional finish and should therefore not be used.' http://www.blackburn .gov.uk/Lists/Downlo adableDocuments/2015 -DL-conservation-are as-supplementary-pla nning-gudance.pdf NotMark

6:25pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Legal Beagle says...

This silly man would have been told by his solicitor when he bought the property that it was in a conservation area, so must have deliberately decided to take the risk. No doubt he reasoned that the `jobs' argument would overcome any opposition by the council.

I'm delighted that the council have cracked down on him, and also that the planning inspectorate have upheld their decision. Cavalier operators like this can take their jiunk shops elsewhere, though I doubt Wigan will let him get away with it either.
This silly man would have been told by his solicitor when he bought the property that it was in a conservation area, so must have deliberately decided to take the risk. No doubt he reasoned that the `jobs' argument would overcome any opposition by the council. I'm delighted that the council have cracked down on him, and also that the planning inspectorate have upheld their decision. Cavalier operators like this can take their jiunk shops elsewhere, though I doubt Wigan will let him get away with it either. Legal Beagle

6:50pm Fri 22 Feb 13

happycyclist says...

Paint the **** things black or brown and leave him alone until the economy recovers (if ever). Darwen can't afford to uphold every daft planning officers' wet dream rulings right now; it's no longer the wealthy town portrayed in Darwen Days photographs. The town centre needs footfall and every building that is open and trading helps that.
Paint the **** things black or brown and leave him alone until the economy recovers (if ever). Darwen can't afford to uphold every daft planning officers' wet dream rulings right now; it's no longer the wealthy town portrayed in Darwen Days photographs. The town centre needs footfall and every building that is open and trading helps that. happycyclist

7:35pm Fri 22 Feb 13

phil kernot says...

NotMark wrote:
The headline should actually read:

"Man with slightly humorous name pays vastly over the odds for something he can not keep and nobody wants! Local resident blames Islam."
Haha , local idiot resident brings religion in to it more like lol
[quote][p][bold]NotMark[/bold] wrote: The headline should actually read: "Man with slightly humorous name pays vastly over the odds for something he can not keep and nobody wants! Local resident blames Islam."[/p][/quote]Haha , local idiot resident brings religion in to it more like lol phil kernot

7:56pm Fri 22 Feb 13

pbrock says...

“We want to make Darwen an attractive market town for people to come and shop in. As it stands, that building sends out all the wrong signals.”

If Councillor Taylor wants to achieve this, then I strongly recommend large scale demolition and thoughtful rebuild. I travel the world extensively and Darwen's town centre is one of the most depressed looking I have seen in a very long while. Ex-Darrener '79.
“We want to make Darwen an attractive market town for people to come and shop in. As it stands, that building sends out all the wrong signals.” If Councillor Taylor wants to achieve this, then I strongly recommend large scale demolition and thoughtful rebuild. I travel the world extensively and Darwen's town centre is one of the most depressed looking I have seen in a very long while. Ex-Darrener '79. pbrock

8:38pm Fri 22 Feb 13

NotMark says...

phil kernot wrote:
NotMark wrote:
The headline should actually read:

"Man with slightly humorous name pays vastly over the odds for something he can not keep and nobody wants! Local resident blames Islam."
Haha , local idiot resident brings religion in to it more like lol
Yes, I was trying to be subtler but that pretty much sums it up.
[quote][p][bold]phil kernot[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NotMark[/bold] wrote: The headline should actually read: "Man with slightly humorous name pays vastly over the odds for something he can not keep and nobody wants! Local resident blames Islam."[/p][/quote]Haha , local idiot resident brings religion in to it more like lol[/p][/quote]Yes, I was trying to be subtler but that pretty much sums it up. NotMark

8:20am Sat 23 Feb 13

TRUENEWS8874 says...

CHANGING THE WINDOWS IS NOT AS MUCH AN ISSUE AS THE COUNCIL LETTING THE PREVIOUS OWNER RIPPING OUT A SLAB OF THE"POTTED MEAT GRANIT" TO REMOVE THE SAFE
THIS HAS TO MY MIND LEFT AN EVEN BIGGER EYESORE THAN THE WINDOWS
CHANGING THE WINDOWS IS NOT AS MUCH AN ISSUE AS THE COUNCIL LETTING THE PREVIOUS OWNER RIPPING OUT A SLAB OF THE"POTTED MEAT GRANIT" TO REMOVE THE SAFE THIS HAS TO MY MIND LEFT AN EVEN BIGGER EYESORE THAN THE WINDOWS TRUENEWS8874

9:21am Sat 23 Feb 13

Lancs Lassie says...

Listen to the do-gooders....some bloke happy to spend his money opening a shop in derelict Darwen and all the Fat Cat Council can do is punish him....good luck to the people of Wigan when he takes his next business there, Darwen is rapidly going down the drain if it has not already done so....
Listen to the do-gooders....some bloke happy to spend his money opening a shop in derelict Darwen and all the Fat Cat Council can do is punish him....good luck to the people of Wigan when he takes his next business there, Darwen is rapidly going down the drain if it has not already done so.... Lancs Lassie

9:40am Sat 23 Feb 13

Excluded again says...

People forget that getting a conservation area in Darwen Town Centre brought in £2 million from the Heritage Lottery fund. This money was spent on Darwen buildings owned by local companies.

There was a deal done - preserve Darwen's heritage and you get £2 million. The Council is sticking to their side of the deal.
People forget that getting a conservation area in Darwen Town Centre brought in £2 million from the Heritage Lottery fund. This money was spent on Darwen buildings owned by local companies. There was a deal done - preserve Darwen's heritage and you get £2 million. The Council is sticking to their side of the deal. Excluded again

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