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Shop wins security battle

PUBLISHED: 00:59 28 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:49 02 March 2010

TATTOO shop manager Paul Williams has today welcomed a "common sense" decision not to remove his security shutters.

The Ipswich trader paid £700 to install the shutters to protect his shop in Foxhall Road after it was vandalised, only to find out he needed to apply for planning permission.

TATTOO shop manager Paul Williams has today welcomed a "common sense" decision not to remove his security shutters.

The Ipswich trader paid £700 to install the shutters to protect his shop in Foxhall Road after it was vandalised, only to find out he needed to apply for planning permission.

A letter from Alan Girling, head of planning and development, said the shutters presented a "forbidding appearance in the street scene" and were "unlikely to be approved."

Mr Williams paid £110 to submit a retrospective planning application and faced an anxious wait for the verdict.

But last week, councillors on the planning committee voted seven to four for Mr Williams to keep the shutters and it is expected other shop owners will follow suit.

Mr Williams, 44, who runs the Apocalypse tattooing and body-piercing shop, said: "It is a victory for common sense because everyone has a right to protect their property.

"I would like to thank the seven people who voted against the recommendation.

"The council is going to have to change its guidelines because more and more people want to do the same thing. It is a sign of the times."

Planning committee chairman Trevor Payne conceded the council needed to make the rules clearer for traders.

He said: "Our guidelines need to be widely publicised and indicate the types of shutters that planning officers and the council find more acceptable.

"We are not opposed to shutters on premises that need them, but our guidelines state they should be of such a design that does not detract from the premises."

He added: "I do believe we should be more proactive in getting the message across and we hope to persuade shop owners to submit applications that are within our guidelines."

In response, Mr Williams added: "If I had known what I could have done beforehand I would have done it.

"I took my chances and I had a result, but that doesn't mean everyone will be as lucky.

"I don't want to get in an argument with the council but there should be set guidelines that are more in favour of shopkeepers rather than other people."

N What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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