Sixty shops in trouble for ‘ugly’ shutters

A COUNCIL cracking down on retailers who put up “ugly” roller shutters could be taking enforcement against up to 60 businesses.

Bradford Council has published a new guide for shopkeepers which says that external solid roller shutters will generally not be accepted.

As reported yesterday, the guide urges the use of internal grilles, set back from the window, or laminated security glass.

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The council has now revealed that “around 60” enforcement cases concerning shops fronts and rollers shutters are under investigation.

Bradford Chamber of Trade accused the council of unfairly pursuing retailers with external shutters.

But Councillor Val Slater, executive member for housing and planning, defended the guidance.

“The new guidance is more user-friendly and its aim is to try to help guide shopkeepers through a progressive step-by-step approach they can take to securing their premises.

“Some shop owners have been misled by the shutter industry into buying unnecessary and ugly external shutters which can lead to areas offering an unfriendly, unwelcoming and potentially unsafe environment.

“Many of the steps in the supplementary planning document do not in fact require planning permission – which reduces the cost - and offer as much security as external shutters.

“Businesses are encouraged to consider each step in turn and only proceed to the next step if they can demonstrate that previous step cannot meet their needs.”

She said police had stated that solid external shutter doors are not the best way of securing premises.

“Our research has shown that the alternatives to roller shutters are no more expensive, if not cheaper.”

Businesses wanting to replace external shutters must ask for planning permission, she said.