Guidance for making alterations

If you are considering making alterations to historic buildings or to buildings within historic areas, it is worthwhile, in the early stages, seeking advice from Planning Officers or the Conservation Officer. Work carried out without the required permissions or consents may result in enforcement action, which will cause disruption and can lead to considerable expense.

To check whether you need planning permission or Advertisement Consent for alterations please see our Permitted Development Enquiries webpage.

To check whether you need Listed Building Consent or Conservation Area Consent for alterations please contact the Conservation Officer, using the contact details at the bottom left of this page.

If you are proposing alterations that require permission or consent, please see our webpage on Heritage Assets and particularly our guidance on Design and Access Statements.

Replacing Windows

Historic windows form an important element in a building's external appearance. Traditional forms of windows, including method of opening, window furniture and old glass can have a significant impact on the character of buildings and areas. Careful thought should be given to replacing historic windows with modern examples, which are often not sympathetically designed or manufactured. The guide provides useful advice for those looking to refurbish, repair or replace their windows:

Windows: Design Guidelines [pdf document, 9.3mb]

Please note that any alteration from the exact style, profiles, methods of opening and materials in a listed building will require Listed building consent.

Shop Fronts

Traditional shop fronts in conservation areas, and elsewhere, help in retaining the character and architectural interest of those areas. Darlington still possesses a large number of original Victorian and Edwardian shop fronts. Where possible, plans to refurbish these should include the replacement of individual areas with new wood, rather than wholesale replacement. That is because wood from this period is of significantly higher quality than either the softwood or hardwood of today, and properly maintained and restored, an historic shop-front will outlast any example in new timber.

Shop Fronts: Design Guidelines [pdf document, 7.8mb]

Shop front Security

Shop front security can be an important and emotive issue for retailers, but poorly thought out responses to security concerns can have a dramatic impact, degrading the quality of Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas. The most common form of shopfront security is probably the solid roller shutter, but shutters are visually unattractive, physically damaging and are often inappropriate on historic buildings or in historic areas. Other security measures can be just as, if not more, effective, therefore applicants are urged to consider these before applying for permission or consent for shutters. Most shopfront alterations require planning permission and where the building is Listed, will more likely than not also require prior Listed Building Consent. Our aim is to guide retailers towards effective security measures for individual premises that also respect the character of the existing building and the street scene.

Shopfront Security Planning Guidance [pdf document]

Shopfront Security Design guidance [pdf document, 5.4mb]