Manchester City Council

Sports, leisure & the Arts Smithfield Conservation Area

Shop security

Shop security is as relevant in this conservation area as in other parts of the city centre, but the use of solid shutters on the outside of shop fronts has proved environmentally unattractive, removing visual interest as well as light for passers-by. This is particularly noticeable in Edge Street, which can remain shuttered up even during the daytime. 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. It is preferable for it to be located behind the glass and to be of an 'open' type, so that a 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.

It is recommended that when shopfronts are replaced 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 re-installing an entire shopfront.

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