Planning permission is required for the erection of security shutters on the outside of a shop front, whether they are new or are a replacement.
Shop fronts are critical in establishing the character and appearance of shopping frontages. Dudley Council attaches considerable importance to suitably designed shop fronts, not only to preserve the character of buildings but also to retain the overall attractiveness of streets and to maintain their commercial viability. Inappropriate developments can have a severe detrimental effect not only on the building but also the street scene and the street’s trading potential.
In recent years the need for shop front security has become increasingly important. To combat the threat of theft and vandalism, replacement shop fronts often incorporate security measures. Unfortunately, the use of certain security measures, particularly solid roller shutters, can have a detrimental impact on the appearance of buildings and the street scene generally.
As an attractive street frontage benefits trade and the local economy, it is essential that shop owners use appropriate security measures which have the minimum effect on the street scene.
External shutters which are solid or have small perforations generally allow no or limited views through to the shop front when closed. This situation is considered to create an uninviting ‘dead’ frontage rather than one that is active. When shutters are drawn down there is no interaction with the street. The roller shutter storage box is also often an unattractive and intrusive feature which makes the display of attractive signage more difficult.
The existence of similar development elsewhere is not a good reason to allow further development that causes harm. In addition to the negative visual impact of the shutter, the monotonous and unattractive frontage created by closed shutters contributes to reinforcing a fear of crime and in turn may attract graffiti, criminal activity and provide a screen behind which intruders can operate unseen.
When a shop front is being altered or replaced, a wide range of security measures can be incorporated as an alternative to roller shutters:
raising the sill heights of display windows to protect against ram-raiding
reducing the size of glass panes in display windows
installing laminated safety glass, providing stronger windows
installing lighting, camera surveillance and alarms
locating unobtrusive bollards or pillars on private forecourts to deter ram raiding
fitting an internal grille behind shop windows
The above measures are considered to be effective and a number of which do not usually require planning permission unless it affects a Listed Building.
Relevant guidance for security in shop front design is contained in the Design for Community Safety SPG
Longstanding design principles are contained in the Shop Front Design and Security – Planning Guidance Note No. 27