Negative approach?

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:58 15 June 2010

The order of the East Devon District Council requiring that Green Dragon Antiques and Animal Botanical remove their expensive new windows because they are not in keeping with a conservation area" points up the schizophrenia all too prevalent in our

The order of the East Devon District Council requiring that Green Dragon Antiques and Animal Botanical remove their expensive new windows because they are "not in keeping with a conservation area" points up the schizophrenia all too prevalent in our multi-layered and divided bureaucracy. On the one hand, our government urges us to insulate our buildings more efficiently to conserve energy and on the other hand it tells us that we may not do so if our building is listed or in a conservation area.Listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas are the most likely to be wasteful of energy purely because the old fenestration is the most energy inefficient. Those charged with the preservation of historic buildings and areas should sit down with those charged with preventing energy waste and devise methods whereby those of us who live in listed buildings and conservation areas and thus waste large amounts of expensive heat through ancient windows can save energy and preserve the external appearance of our buildings at one and the same time.To demand that new, energy efficient windows be removed at vast expense is surely counter-productive in terms of energy conservation and in terms of respect for the enforcers of historic conservation policies. These enforcers are now purely negative in their approach. They would gain much more respect and co-operation from the affected public if they could devise a more positive approach to what has now become a serious problem in a different kind of conservation. At the moment government talks with two contradictory mouths and those two mouths both suffer from implanted feet.Andrew TriminghamWidworthyNr Honiton


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