Bristol

Bristol shopkeeper told to remove shutters despite security measures being 'justified'

Picton Street, Bristol Image copyright Google
Image caption Calum Yuill had shutters put on his grade II-listed shop on Picton Street following a series of burglaries in the area

A shopkeeper has been told to remove his store's external security shutters, despite a council admitting that "security measures are justified".

Calum Yuill had shutters put on his Grade II listed shop in Bristol following burglaries in the area.

But the city council ordered their removal, claiming they harm the site's architectural and historical interest.

Mr Yuill, said planning laws were being applied in a "blanket fashion" without any "rationality or common sense".

Mr Yuill installed the external metal shutters - "decorated to fit in with the surrounding area" - last summer on the Picton Street building to protect his start-up software development company.

But last April, planning permission for them was refused on the grounds they "substantially harmed" the building and failed to enhance the conservation area.

According to city council planners, while it was "accepted that security measures are justified in this location" external shutters were not suitable for listed buildings.

Image caption A Planning Enforcement Notice was served by the city council on 30 June "requiring removal" of the external security shutters

But Mr Yuill, insisted that putting the shutters inside the building would not protect it.

"People smash the glass - hence what's happened repeatedly on this street," he said.

'Harm to heritage'

"We're going to have to be defiant and really see if the council is prepared to press criminal charges against someone who is trying to protect their business from criminals."

A spokesman for the city council said a removal notice had been served on 30 June and the deadline to appeal had "now passed".

"The business owner did not exercise their right to challenge the council's position," he said.

"In making this sort of decision, the council does take account of the need for security, but in this case it was decided that the improved security of the premises by the method adopted did not outweigh the harm to the heritage asset."

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