A SHOP OWNER has been ordered to remove his security shutter ... because it breaks conservation rules!
Landlord Stuart Ross faces legal action unless he takes down the £1,250 device which he installed to protect sweet shop SugaShack, in Market Street, Hindley, from attacks by vandals.
But after Mr Ross was told he would need planning permission for the electric roller shutter, council officers refused his application claiming the device “seriously harms the character and appearance of the conservation area” in Hindley.
Mr Ross, who now has less than 28 days to take down the shutter, has voiced anger at the decision and says other shops in the street with similar security measures have not been told to remove them.
He said: “It feels like total discrimination. Other shops in Market Street have the same type of shutters but haven’t been asked to take theirs down.
“It’s an important piece of security because others shops in the area have had windows smashed.
“I had no idea I would need to apply for planning application for an electric shutter. Then, unbelievably, my application was refused because it doesn’t meet the criteria of the conservation area.”
Rose Edwards, who runs SugaShack, said: “We would all like a street that was a true conservation area, but unfortunately it’s a sign of the times and shops need security measures.
“As a small firm, we would go out of business if we had to constantly replace smashed windows because our shutters had been taken down.”
Wigan Council says the planning application was refused due to the size and positioning of the shutter box, the galvanised steel finish and because the shutter covers the whole of the shop front.
The authority said alternative security measures such as decorative grilles or internally fitted shutters could be installed.
In a written reply to Mr Ross, Wigan Council’s development manager Graham Dickman said: “While the council acknowledges the need to ensure appropriate security, there is a need for measures to ensure that the design is suitable for its setting.
“I acknowledge that there are other examples of shutters in the locality, and that a number of these also seriously harm the character and appearance of the conservation area. The council will take appropriate action to secure removal of these as resources allow.”