Poundbury residents criticize “ludicrous” regulations that require them to use wooden window frames rather than plastic despite the fact that they rot.John Moorby has been requesting approval to replace his deteriorating frames.Howard, Harry Reviewed at 10:14 EDT on August 29, 2023
In a protracted argument over the use of plastic window frames in King Charles’ designer town, the Duchy of Cornwall has come under fire.
.One of the Poundbury, Dorset, residents, John Moorby, has been fighting the Duchy since 2015 in an effort to replace his decaying softwood window frames with more resilient uPVC.Eight years later, he has made little progress toward a solution and asserts that even while the Duchy forbids the use of uPVC, the substance is still being utilized in new construction but is just “hidden.”On new homes, uPVC cavity closers—the closure that insulates the space in hollow walls—are employed, and they are then covered with unsuitable, rotting timber frames.
The Duchy refuses to make a concession on the divisive topic, arguing that wood is more environmentally friendly and reflects Dorset’s architectural tradition.When they relocate into the King’s town, new residents must agree to abide by the Duchy’s code. Critical residents claim that while they agree with the majority of the restrictions listed, the one about windows is flawed.In 2020, they established The Window Group to advocate for change.
After only 20 years, the hardwood frames that were supposed to last 50 have deteriorated. The painted softwood rots as a result of rainwater penetrating it and causing cracks and peeling.Residents claim they have spent hundreds of pounds having them treated and repainted every few years, and now they face even greater expenses to have them replaced.
The King’s model village, according to Mr. Moorby, a retired nuclear engineer, is beginning to look prematurely run-down as a result of the counterproductive law, but the Duchy won’t explain why uPVC is acceptable for some items, such cavity closers, but not for their windows. In addition, it is utilized for fixtures like gutters, drain pipes, waste pipes, and others.The Duchy of Cornwall has categorically declared that uPVC is not authorized in Poundbury, although it is evidently being extensively utilized for cavity closers on new constructions, according to Mr. Moorby, 83.
‘It seems extraordinary to me that the current build process for doors and windows involves installing a durable and maintenance-free uPVC cavity closer and then hiding it behind a painted softwood door or window frame.’ So, while the painted wood is exposed, the weather-resistant uPVC is concealed. It’s ridiculous.Why on earth are households being forced to use problematic softwood frames when trouble-free uPVC ones that could be produced to a Duchy-approved design and were low maintenance, energy efficient, recyclable, and able to mimic the finish of painted wood could be made
I think it’s ridiculous that they say we can’t have uPVC when they use it like there’s no tomorrow. “The Duchy’s acceptance of modern materials seems to depend on how visible they are. If the materials are pretty much out-of-sight then they are tolerated.” “I’m not against the concept of Poundbury, I signed the covenant and absolutely accept that many of the points are for our own good, but this one I’m against.”
It is an urban extension of the county town of Dorchester constructed on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall in accordance with the King’s recommended architectural principles, which prioritize sustainability.At Poundbury, construction work started in October 1993, and as of now, there are about 2,300 residences there, housing close to 5,000 people. Affordable housing makes up 35% of the dwellings being built in the complex. It is anticipated to be finished in or around 2028 and will add about 25% more people to Dorchester.
Some mocked the plan at first, claiming that the Prince of Wales at the time was creating his own medieval Disneyland.In a time of climate emergency, using natural sustainable resources rather than manufactured and processed products is a fundamental concept that should be respected, according to a spokesman for the Duchy.The Duchy recognizes that some uPVC items can now have less harmful environmental credentials than their predecessors, but the material still has a large amount of embodied carbon.Given that the production and upkeep of timber windows inevitably results in some carbon debt, the original specification of using timber is still justified now as it was 30 years ago.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn