ORIGINAL wooden windows on a block of flats in Greenhill, Weymouth were replaced with new-style UPVC despite being refused planning permission, councillors heard.

Windows and doors at flats 1-6 Ocean Watch, 33 Greenhill, opposite the bowling green were all replaced after planning permission was refused by Dorset Council on September 9.

It was refused because the property is located in the Greenhill Conservation Area and the building's original timber windows were said to add to its positive architectural quality.

According to the planning officer's comments, the new windows featured imitation 'stick on' tape to give the appearance of leaded windows.

"Authenticity is the key and this needs to be maintained otherwise there is a loss of character," Dorset Council's planning officer commented.

According to the building owner, the original timber windows were not energy efficient and causing 'a long term maintenance problem.'

They also said that almost half of all of the buildings in the surrounding block - from 7 Greenhill to 35 Greenhill together with adjacent 42 Cranford Avenue - now have the newer UPVC windows, and are also in the conservation area.

An appeal has now been made against the planning refusal decision, and has been lodged with the Secretary of State.

Members of Weymouth Town Council's Planning and Licensing Committee had the opportunity to comment on the appeal. They had previously approved the designs before they were rejected by Dorset Council.

The appeal was discussed by councillors at the committee's most recent meeting.

Cllr Lucy Hamilton said: "The images we looked at last time time seemed similar enough [to the original windows and doors].

"It's not a Regency building or such."

Cllr Kevin Brookes said: "We're not always going to agree with the conservation officer."

Councillors decided they would need a closer look and deferred making a comment on the appeal until after they had made a visit to the site.