The owners of a store in Southport, Lancashire have had to remove their £2,000 shutter system and replace it with plywood boards after falling foul of local planning rules which say security systems must look ‘attractive’.

Ken Wilkins and Martin Bos had the shutters installed at their Southbank Road newsagents 18 months ago after they had been broken into twice in the space of five weeks. They then received a letter from Sefton Council Planning Department informing them their security screens were in breach of local planning regulations. 

After a failed appeal, they were forced to take down the shutters. They now have to place plywood boards over the windows every evening when they close. “It’s not going to stop anyone breaking into the shop - all it’ll do is slow them down and perhaps limit the amount of time they have before the police arrive,” said Ken. 

The ruling was brought in four years ago in an attempt to make Southport more attractive to tourists.