Shopowners at odds with council over security

Shopfronts still damaged from the riots pic: Rosie Thompson

Damage to shops following the riots last August has driven Croydon Council to review the planning guidance for security measures shop owners can take to protect their premises.

Councillor Jason Perry, cabinet member for transport and sustainability said: ‘The wanton vandalism caused by those hooligans in August made us think that a review of guidance was required to prevent our borough becoming an unwelcoming urban environment.”

A consultation period is due to take place, between the 16 January and 27 February where locals will be given the opportunity to voice their opinions as to how far retailers and businesses will be able to secure their property.

There is a view amongst some residents that shop front security measures fail to respect Croydon’s character and make the exterior of the borough unattractive.

The council’s proposal comes five months after this summer’s riots. This has led some shop owners to question why the issue has not been addressed sooner.

Ms Patel, the owner of the shop Top Trendz on Church Street said: “We applied for planning permission so we could have protective shutters to be placed on the outside of our shop, but the council denied us this right. We applied again and the council again prevented us. So we ended up putting the shutters inside the shop behind our glass windows.

“The Council have not done enough for shop owners. It is our lively hood and we should be able to protect our shops any way we want.”

It is rumoured, that a neighbouring shop installed protective shutters on the exterior of their store despite being denied planning permission. The Council is now taking them to court.

A spokesperson for Croydon Council was unable to confirm this.

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