A LLANDEILO butcher's plans to replace traditional sliding sash windows with modern UPVC windows on his premises in a conservation area have been given the chop by county planners.

Hugh Evans had applied for the renewal of windows at the front and rear of his shop in Rhosmaen Street.

His application was supported by local member Edward Thomas who pointing out that neighbouring homeowners had installed UPVC windows in their properties.

But Head of Planning Eifion Bowen maintained the materials were "inappropriate" for a conservation area and the planning committee voted 8-6 in favour of his recommendation to refuse the application. There were three abstentions.

Mr Bowen said it was felt the use of UPVC material was not appropriate for a property fronting onto Rhosmaen Street with its rear backing onto a car park.

"There are other buildings in town where we've insisted on the use of wood, so we try to provide an element of consistency," he added.

However Cllr Thomas argued Mr Evans's building would not have a detrimental effect, claiming five other properties at the rear possessed UPVC. Mr Evans is looking to smarten up his building," he said.

"Obviously the conservation area is important, but if we look around there's double glazing everywhere."

Mr Bowen admitted that the majority of buildings had not received permission to install UPVC windows.

"But two wrongs don't make a right – or, in this case, five wrongs don't make a right. We have a statutory duty to enhance conservations areas. We are practicing what we preach."

Cllr Terry Davies felt the local authority should abide by its own policy. "If we grant thisthe gates will be open for all the others," he said. "There would be plastic everywhere – and this is a lovely area."

Cllr Emlyn Dole asked whether wooden or UPVC windows were to be used on the new secondary school at Ffairfach in an area of natural beauty.

"I cannot recall, but I know wood has been used on other iconic buildings," replied Mr Bowen.

Cllr Alun Lenny said the windows under discussion dated not from the Georgian era but from the 1970s "which was hardly a great era for architecture."