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A working party is to be set up to look into the way Fenland Council deals with the issue of replacement windows in properties in conservation areas and listed buildings.

Council leader Alan Melton admitted: “I am very, very concerned about the inconsistencies that exist at the moment regarding this issue. There are inconsistencies from building to building in conservation areas and we do seriously need to look at it and I will certainly be setting up a small working party. We can’t let this situation continue where we are prosecuting some people and letting some people of the hook. It’s not right and it’s not fair.”

His announcement follows an impromptu survey by March councillors Jan French and Rob Skoulding of buildings in the town’s conservation areas in Broad Street and High Street.

Mrs French explained she had been set to head-up a working party last year before being sacked from the Cabinet by Mr Melton.

She and Mr Skoulding felt the issue needed to be looked at in March as the town council is considering producing some sort of plan for the town.

They counted up the number of plastic windows in properties that were either in the conservation area or listed and found there were 183 some of which had been in place for up to 20 years.

Mrs French agreed it would be difficult to insist all unauthorised plastic windows are replaced with wooden ones. “That would be totally unfair in my personal view,” she said.

However, she believes there is an urgent need to review the policy, which dates back to 1972.

“This is a different world to what it was then. energy prices are high and people want to save energy and keep their homes warmer. We really need to look at the whole issue and come up with a way to move forward,” added Mrs French.

Mr Melton agreed: “We need to look at everything, we need to establish how many windows we are talking about in all four towns and draw up a new policy from ground zero.”