Windows Grant Scheme Fund
Moray Council is committed to preserving and enhancing Moray’s historic and built heritage. Within Moray there are 18 conservation areas which have been designated on the basis that these are areas of special architectural or historic interest where it is desirable to preserve and enhance their character and appearance.
While there are many different aspects that all contribute to the character and appearance of a conservation area, the retention of traditional windows within both listed and unlisted buildings is extremely significant.
Is funding available to help me repair or reinstate traditional windows? Please note that traditional windows are timber not aluminium or uPVC.
Yes. Through funding provided through the Scottish Government’s Place Based Investment Programme, a Windows Grant Scheme has been set up by Moray Council to help homeowners install and repair traditional windows in their property if it is located within a conservation area and meets the eligibility criteria below. The funding is only available to strictly residential properties within a conservation area. (Please note for the purposes of this fund this excludes guesthouses, B&B’s, hotels, and short term lets including Air bnb’s)
The Windows Grant Scheme offers a grant of up to a maximum of £12,500 per property and there are limited funds available.
Do I need Planning Permission?
In order to qualify for the Windows Grant Scheme you must have planning permission and/or listed building consent, if it is deemed to be required by the Council.
Please note simply obtaining planning permission or listed building consent DOES NOT guarantee eligibility for funding. A separate application to the Windows Grant Scheme must also be made which will be assessed against the eligibility criteria. If several applications are received then they will each be assessed and scored so the funds can be allocated to the proposal that is deemed to enhance not only the building but also the wider character of the conservation area.
What if I do not have Planning Permission?
- If you do not have planning permission or listed building consent and are unsure if you need it then you must submit a Domestic Development Enquiry Form. Please note, this is to determine if you require planning permission or not. This is NOT an application form for planning permission or for the windows grant fund which must be done separately.
- To allow time for this to be assessed you must submit this by 24th November.
What if I require planning permission?
- If planning permission and/or listed building is required then you must submit a planning application by 8th December. The timescale for determining a planning application for replacement windows normally is 6-8 weeks.
- A separate application to the Windows Grant Scheme must also be made using the form provided at the same time as planning permission is being sought as a number of criteria must be met to be eligible for the fund. The Windows Grant Scheme application must be submitted to email@example.com by 23rd February 2024.
- Please note that obtaining planning permission DOES NOT guarantee that you will be eligible or successful in your application for the grant as a number of eligibility and scoring criteria must be met.
What if I already have Planning Permission and/or Listed Building Consent?
- If you already have planning permission and/or listed building consent then you must complete and submit the Windows Repair Grant Form by 23rd February 2024 to firstname.lastname@example.org
Is my property eligible for the Windows Grant Scheme?
If you have submitted a planning application within the above timeframe, or already have an approved planning consent, you may be eligible to apply for the Windows Grant Scheme.
The scheme is restricted to residential properties (see above) that fall within any one of Moray’s designated conservation areas. It is restricted to windows on principal elevations or elevations that front a street that contribute to the wider character of the conservation area.
The Windows Grant Scheme will remain open to applications until 23rd February 2024. All eligible applications received will then be assessed and scored to determine how the funds will be allocated.
If successful the Council will be in touch with regards to the next steps. Successful applicants will be given 14 days to sign the conditions of grant. Failure to sign within this timeframe will mean that your successful application would expire and the funds would be awarded to another eligible applicant.
Any application relating to the instalment or repair of non-traditional windows or materials such as uPVC will not be eligible regardless of the justification that may be provided. This includes justification solely relating to thermal efficiency and the cost of living.
Applications will be assessed against the eligibility criteria set out below. Please note that simply meeting the eligibility criteria will not guarantee a successful application for the fund.
Please note, applicants must confirm that they have sufficient finance set aside and available (taking into account the grant) to enable the works to be completed. Reimbursement of any claim will only be made on receipt of paid invoices.
If several applications are received then they will each be assessed and scored so the funds can be allocated to the proposal that is deemed to enhance not only the building but the wider character of the conservation area.
Any proposal must be;
- For windows on a principal elevation or one that is deemed to be located on a visually prominent location or street (e.g. prominent roadside location, entranceway into the settlement, fronting a square or area of open space) that contributes to the overall character of the conservation area;
- For the reinstatement of non-traditional windows to those of an appropriate traditional design i.e. timber sash and casement;
- Replacement windows must be painted with an oil based paint. Staining will not be acceptable. The colour of paint must be made in agreement with the Council.
- For repairs to existing traditional windows – single or double glazed (where appropriate and does not apply to any existing uPVC windows that may be traditionally styled for example);
- Planning and/or listed building consent must be obtained before funding can be provided. If a planning application is pending then the applicant must inform the Council and provide the planning application reference within the Windows Grant Repair Form;
- In accordance with an ongoing review of conservation areas.
The grant scheme will NOT be eligible for;
- Properties where the installation of traditional windows will not enhance the overall character of the conservation area or on any elevation that is not on a public view;
- The installation or repair of any form of non-traditional windows and materials (i.e. uPVC, aluminium, steel). This includes repairs to non-traditional windows that may be traditionally styled;
- Properties within the settlement that fall outwith the conservation area designation;
- Retrospective applications for windows already installed;
- The creation of new windows as part of a renovation or conversion (including an existing opening that was not previously a window or door opening);
Why are traditional windows important?
Windows are a key and integral component to the design of any traditional and historic building. They also significantly contribute to the wider overall character and appearance of streets and conservation areas where they are located in.
Windows are elements of a building that can easily be changed and therefore they are extremely vulnerable to inappropriate and unsympathetic changes, particularly with an ever increasing desire to make older properties more thermally efficient. However, the loss of traditional windows poses one of the most significant threats to our heritage, not just too individual buildings, but also our conservation areas.
The effect of the installation of non-traditional windows can have a significant and detrimental impact on the visual appearance of historic buildings particularly if non-traditional materials such as uPVC are installed. These are often are “clunky” in appearance, suburban in their style and opening method, and lack features such as astragals or glazing bars which were key components of traditional windows and the overall architectural composition of the building.
The installation of uPVC windows are often seen as a “quick fix” to improving thermal efficiency with the impact on the built heritage often getting ignored. However, recent improvements in technology allow traditional windows to be repaired and upgraded through draught proofing or secondary glazing.
Repairing or upgrading traditional windows can be more cost effective in the long term. Traditional windows can be repaired as opposed to upvc windows, where if there is a fault, then the whole window usually has to be replaced. Furthermore, installing upvc does not necessarily equal greater household energy efficiency than timber or aluminium which is often a misconception.
In many conservation areas, the cumulative effect of the installation of modern non-traditional windows can over time this can erode the very character and appearance that the designation sought to protect.
Further information relating to what types and styles of window that will be acceptable can be found in the Council’s Replacement Windows and Doors Guidance