England riots: Plans to ease rules on shop shutters abandoned

Looters leave an electronics store in Birmingham Some shops were destroyed during the 2011 riots.

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The government has abandoned plans to ease planning restrictions on security shutters for shops.

A consultation by the Department for Communities and Local Government was prompted by last year's riots.

But the consultation, which took the form of letters to local planning chiefs, concluded that it would be a "disproportionate over-reaction".

Looting and vandalism broke out in north London in August 2011 before spreading across several cities.

Relaxing the rules on shutters was one idea mentioned by the prime minister when Parliament was recalled in response to the riots last summer.

David Cameron told MPs he realised it was "difficult" for shops to put up protective shutters and vowed to "weed out unnecessary planning regulations".

The government consultation asked if shops should be able to install security shutters without approval from local authorities.

'Under siege'

But announcing the result of the consultation, a government spokesman said: "Police and councils advised that relaxing these rules could have the opposite effect and increase crime and anti-social behaviour by giving High Streets the appearance of being under siege."

The decision led the Association of Convenience Stores to question the government's commitment to cutting red tape for businesses.

"This would require councils to be creative, talk to local retailers and respond to their needs. That is not something they're renowned for," ACS spokesman Shane Brennan told The Grocer.

Siva Kandiah, a shop-owner whose property was destroyed by rioters in east London, told the magazine: "They should leave it up to us to decide what we need to keep our shops safe."

The Department for Local Government has offered funding to affected areas through the High Street Fund and, in London, through the Mayor's Regeneration Fund.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 133.

    Re130 Gardner Sorry such nonsense! Its thirty years of that sort of tosh has got us where we are with rights,entitlement etc. Whilst the third world have been working their way out of REAL poverty and underprivilege you mention. (Have you seen it? I have) The reality is they have now sneaked up behind and bitten US all on the butt so step back and look globally because thats how it is NOW!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 132.

    Re 46 Toby Wilson. Thank you for pointing out what I and so many of my generation think! I personally know at least five folk with Degrees in subjects utterly useless to them,prospective employers or anyone else for that matter! On the debate, I think local counsels should relax the shutters red tape but apply strict times on the opening and closing of them! IE just before average drunkoclock!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 131.

    MY THINKING is that perhaps the government wants 24 hour shopping, with staff being paid at the minimum wage, so shutters are unnecessary.

    Heavy engineering is now "Made in China", so manufacturing hundreds of thousands of shutters will imbalance our National Debt further.

    HONESTLY shutters are only a deterrent and anyone doing a serious riot will not give a tooting hoot about security measures!

  • rate this

    Comment number 130.

    This is a community issue requiring young people to be treated as part of society rather than a forgotten group who only get heard when they cause disasters like riots. Unless they feel part of society through training and support, they will do anything to get what they want, as they are not happy in their home or school life and they have nothing to lose due to their under priviledged background

  • rate this

    Comment number 129.

    Police and councils advised that relaxing these rules could have the opposite effect and increase crime and anti-social behaviour by giving High Streets the appearance of being under siege.
    Bit late for worrying about appearances ....oxfam....empty....£shop....empty.....empty.....pdsa shop........pawnbrokers.....empty......cash generator shop.......dole office......empty......bookies.


Comments 5 of 133


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