DC Casebook: Listed buildings - Plastic columns viewed as no substitute

The replacement of wooden columns at a mid 19th century grade II listed building in a Suffolk conservation area with concrete-filled glass reinforced plastic columns has been declared wholly inappropriate.

The badly decayed timber columns and pilasters had been replaced in 2005. The appellant claimed that the portico was a pretentious add-on feature forming no part of the original design and that climate change required longer-lasting modern materials to be used.

The evidence suggested that the plastic columns differed markedly from the originals, being noticeably thinner.

The inspector noted that timber has been widely used throughout the country as a traditional building material since time immemorial and with proper maintenance can last for many decades.

Climatic conditions in the village were not likely to be so severe as to justify the use of plastic on historic buildings, he concluded.

DCS Number 100-068-982

Inspector Tony Davison; Written representations.

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