Should doors be white in Welwyn Garden City?
PUBLISHED: 06:58 27 August 2019
An architect from Welwyn Garden City has denounced Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's white door rulings.
Jim Porter, director of Wastell and Porter's, said the council's recent ruling requiring a Welwyn Garden City woman to change her door after it was found to be black and too modern for the town was unfair.
The current requirement is to ensure the outside of properties in Welwyn Garden City are "in keeping" with its garden city heritage.
But Mr Porter said this idea has forced council officers to rule that his clients in Welwyn Garden City need to change their doors to white.
"I think some council officer somewhere just decide they should be white," he said.
Sandra Sirviene, who was recently told to change her doors, said "there's no clear specification from the council".
She also pointed to more than 18 doors in close proximity to her own home, in The Croft, that were dark in colour or modern in design.
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Mr Porter said this is sadly the case he has found with many residents in Welwyn Garden City.
"They are already enforcing the new EMS scheme," he said.
Under the new proposed Estate Management Scheme (EMS), WHBC says as most doors in the area are white it would be in-keeping with the heritage of the garden city that non-white doors are not OK.
"But muted and pastel colours could also work, so long as they are justified and match the character of the property," a council spokeswoman said.
The draft EMS design guide, which has specific guidance on external doors, states that doors should reflect and respect the design and appearance of the original doors of the property and remain in keeping with the style of surrounding properties.
"The finish of the proposed external door and door frame should be a single colour, which refers back to the original door's design, typically a white finish," the guide says.
"Information or proof would be required where this is not white. Any change in colour or appearance to an existing retained door will require consent."
But Mr Porter argues residents in most cases do not have proof and it is not clear if Ebenezer Howard - the man behind the garden city movement - required them to be.
Residents can give feedback on the design guide at welhat.gov.uk/consultations/Welwyn Garden City-EMS until September 6.