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The council offered grants totalling more than £50,000 last year to help residents in conservation areas with the costs of restoring some of their property's original features.

On the Dover House Estate in West Putney two residents received grants for putting back original-style timber sash windows. Other householders have received money for removing pebbledash and the reinstatement of railings.

Conservation grants for individual properties cover between 25 and 50 per cent of costs up to a limit of £20,000. Funds are limited and priority is always given to listed buildings needing urgent repair.

Executive member for planning and transportation Guy Senior said, "We are proud of our architectural heritage in Wandsworth. We are one of a dwindling number of councils still offering this type of grant. By running a small programme aimed at conservation areas we can encourage people to restore their properties sympathetically by bringing back original features which may have been lost for years. The whole idea of conservation areas is to preserve the integrity of quality building forms from an earlier era. "

In many cases householders are inspired to reinstate original features by the success of a neighbour's project. The council say that even if they are not able to provide a grant they are always happy to give advice on conservation issues.

For information on conservation grants call John Webb on 020 8871 6645.

April 27, 2007