Are security grilles subject to planning laws?

Because upgrading your security to take advantage of the latest security grilles and shutters can involve a level of visual modification to your property, it's common for business owners to ask whether or not they should take out planning permission before getting a security grille installed.

The answer, as you might expect, varies between different areas and different interpretations of the rules.

First of all, in areas subject to tighter planning laws you may find there are restrictions on what kinds of security products you can install. Covering the windows and doors with highly affordable aluminium roller shutters may not be possible if you carry out business in a restricted area. Instead, you may need to opt for more discreetly positioned sliding security grilles.

Unfortunately, many small businesses find that if they carry out extensive enquiries as to what is and isn't permitted, they receive restrictive advice and may find that only the more expensive products are specified. This leads to a situation where a lot of businesses take the decision to put up an inexpensive security grille anyway, and wait to see whether any complaints are made. Some areas are more sensitive than others, and in these cost-conscious and highly competitive times, businesses that wish to toe the line don't like finding out that other businesses have been getting away with short-cutting the rules for a while before the authorities take notice.

In short, the answer to whether security grilles are affected by planning permission restrictions could me summed up as follows. Most businesses should probably get permission, although there are understandable reasons why some businesses choose not to.

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