Manchester City Council

Sports, leisure & the Arts Withington Conservation Area

Shop security

Shop security is as relevant in this conservation area as the city centre, but the use of solid shutters on the outside of shopfronts has proved environmentally unattractive, removing visual interest as well as light for passers by. This creates a hostile environment, particularly intimidating for women and other users of adjacent pavements.

If a shutter is required, planning permission is normally needed, certainly if the shutter is external to the glass. It is preferable for it to be located behind the glass and to be of an 'open' type, so that visual interest is maintained from the outside when the interior lights are left on. External shutter boxes are often difficult to incorporate satisfactorily into the form of buildings, and will not normally be permitted if they are of solid construction. In any event they should never obliterate architectural details.

When shopfronts are replaced, they require planning permission, and it is recommended that they should incorporate structural members both vertically and horizontally, in order to provide a greater degree of security. This may be carried out in a traditional manner, with a stallriser, or it might be achieved with a more modern design. Sub-division of the front also makes good sense, as replacement of individual parts is much cheaper than reinstalling an entire shopfront.

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