Tuesday 23 April 2019

Call for coherent policy on shop shutters in towns

Cllr Mark Dearey
Cllr Mark Dearey

Francis Carroll

A call has been made for the re-employment of a county architect to improve the aesthetics of our streets, as the problem of 'towns of shutters' was highlighted.

At Monday's meeting of Louth county council, Cllr Mark Dearey appealed to the chief executive and senior management of the local authority to make the appointment.

He noted successful towns in various competitions have someone dynamic helping their planning and environment sections.

His comments came as it was revealed by Cllr Richie Culhane, chairman of the planning and environment SPC, that a summary guideline is on the way for shopfronts and shutters.

He said there is a situation pertaining where shop owners won't obtain insurance if shutters are on the outside, but are covered if they are placed on the inside.

'That doesn't work. The windows will be broken,' said Cllr Maeve Yore.

Shutters are a big issue in Dundalk, added Cllr Kevin Meenan.

There are shutters you can easily see through. There could be a compromise he believed.

Chairman, Peter Savage recalled a survey which revealed there were 130 shuttered premises in Dundalk between the graveyard and Hill Street bridge.

Cllr Oliver Tully said it is something that should be looked into, as a 'town of shutters' is terrible.

However, he believed shop windows being broken is not an issue.

The council should look at a pilot scheme regarding shutters, suggested Cllr Liam Reilly.

Shops that had roller shutters on the outside have no requirement to change, only on new premises, said Cllr Culhane.

'You can understand the frustration of people who have had their windows broken a number of times,' said the chairman, Peter Savage.

Shutters is a particular issue in Dundalk, and not elsewhere, remarked director of service, Mary T Daly.

'If yours is the only shop without shutters, you will get your window broken, said Cllr Dearey.

Cllr Maria Doyle agreed that such shops will be targetted.

'We need to have a coherent policy that works for everyone.'

Cllr Declan Breathnach believes a compromise can be reached with shopkeepers and insurers.

Irish Independent