Conservation, colours and cream

Sarah Hitchings, sales and marketing director of The Residence Collection, talks about the requirements for conservation areas, what planners are looking for, and some of the colours that inspire her.

There are over 10,000 conservation areas in England alone, with one in every local authority, and they vary considerably in their nature and character.

According to Historic England “they range from the centres of historic towns and cities, through fishing and mining villages, 18th and 19th century suburbs, model housing estates, country houses set in historic parks, to historic transport links and their environs, such as stretches of canal”.

The job of local authority planners is to help preserve these special areas, that also include listed buildings and article 4 directives that restrict the scope of permitted development rights, either in relation to a particular area or site, or a particular type of development anywhere in the authority’s area.

This has considerable impact on the nature and type of window and door that can be installed within these special designated areas and for many years was the sole domain of timber and steel.

Residence 9 was developed to be the true timber alternative casement window and remains so today. The sightlines exactly match those of typical 19th century windows while we have developed our own range of heritage-inspired premium window hardware.

Everything about an R9 window has been carefully thought through, something that planners across the UK agree with. When you open an R9 window there is the beauty of a fully foiled mullion and frame rebate, so there are no visible signs of any plain PVCU. There are also no gaskets on the outer frame – these all reside on the sash hiding all sight of keeps and giving that perfect sightline. A further point to consider is that our windows and doors are often made on benches, which again is more akin to the timber segment.

R9 was launched as a window to be mechanically jointed, but in recent years the latest welding technologies to replicate this detail have been adopted by some, but visually keeping to the traditional butt joint appearance. These are hand crafted windows after all, and part of a wide number of USPs.

While we have been recognised as the inspiration for the flush sash window market, one has to make a clear definition between a 70mm flush sash window and an R9 window where each and every profile and bead has been designed with the most exacting heritage credentials. The appearance of the window was a revelation when it was launched at the FIT Show, where window design, hardware and a unique colour and dual-colour proposition were shown to the masses.

Indeed, our colour portfolio has been used as a basis for re-naming Agate Grey as Painswick, and the majority of our foiled finishes are inspired by The Cotswolds, one of just 33 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England right on our doorstep. English Oak has been a popular finish over the years, but now architects, installer partners and consumers are looking elsewhere in our colour palette for further inspiration.

With 11 colours in 23 colourways in stock as standard, there’s plenty of choice not only for our trade partners, but for the consumers and architects too.

We’ve seen an increase in demand for Cotswold Biscuit, Corse Lawn and Clotted Cream, the latter appearing on one of our new case studies that are available as a download on our website. We’ll also look towards expanding this palette in 2021, by which time the industry will have drawn breath after a period of exceptional and unprecedented demand.

The role of planners in local authorities is to help preserve the nature and character of buildings in conservation areas, and we’ve worked with a considerable number over the years. The most exacting product detailing, careful manufacturing practices, and a true period-inspired colour palette, have helped make R9 the definitive true timber alternative casement window.

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