Not open and shut

• Evolution Bikes store manager Michael Hernan. Photo by David Bell.

A PERTH bike shop filled with high-end gear has been told to remove security shutters installed to prevent thefts.

Evolution Bikes is at the corner of Beaufort and Bulwer Streets, and owner Anthony Hart says he’s had his windows broken several times since opening five years ago, but Vincent council has told him his shutters are in breach of a ban introduced to make streetscapes seem less hostile.

The rollers are up during the day and only rolled down at night, and the windows make up about 5 per cent of the total facade.

Mr Hart estimated the shop has about $850,000 worth of stock in it, including high-end bikes worth up to $15,000 awaiting a service, and they also need the extra security as they have a contract to supply and service WA Police patrol bikes.

Mr Hart’s now planning to appeal the decision to the State Administrative Tribunal.

The roller shutters were installed in late 2021 but a single complaint in April 2022 led to council compliance officers showing up and saying Mr Hart had to either take the shutters down or put in a retrospective application and hope for approval.

Vincent council policy says solid facades aren’t allowed in town centres, and any security measures must be “transparent and visually permeable to allow views inside the building”.

A report from planning staff to councillors says “the appearance of the roller shutters as a security measure adversely impacts on and does not reflect the character of the local area or complement the existing building”.

Mr Hart pointed out that under the council’s policy, recessed steel bars would be fine. 

“We would contend that bars/metal grids/other ‘visually permeable’ solutions create 

far more of a ‘high security/high risk impression’ than the elegantly and seamlessly integrated fixed roller shutters,” Mr Hart wrote to council ahead of the meeting. “The roller shutters we have implemented look a lot better than many of the other security solutions present in the Beaufort Street streetscape, such as bars on windows.” 

He said at the May 16 meeting: “We had five break-ins in the three-plus years prior to the installation, zero in the almost-two years since.”

And before they’d moved in the store’s windows had been completely boarded up at all times.

Store manager Michael Hernan told councillors at the May 16 meeting: “If there was indeed a better way for us to be more active and interactive, while still maintaining our security obligations regarding WA Police Force and our customers assets, we would have done so without hesitation.”

He also pointed out that the shop was in a busy, car-heavy “transport corridor” rather than a pedestrian town centre, yet the council was applying the same rules to both. Nearby pubs, parks, and a fast food outlet have made for some smash-happy passers-by. 

Cr Ron Alexander agreed a transport corridor probably needed different consideration than a town centre: “I’m supportive of roller shutters being there, because [in] that part of the city, that business faces Birdwood Square, which is a park, so it’s not facing other businesses… I have some sympathy to the view that this is one of those exceptions that should be made.”

Two other councillors agreed – Ross Ioppolo and Suzanne Worner – but majority voted for the rollers to be removed.

Mayor Emma Cole said there’d been many other cases where the council had ordered businesses to remove shutters or full-window decals (some of which were still outstanding).

“I don’t think we can treat one business differently to the way we’ve treated many others in similar circumstances,” she said.

Mr Hernan pointed out that this was a unique case given their need to secure WA Police bikes, and not many other businesses would qualify on those grounds. 

Ms Cole also penned a successful motion giving the store six months to remove the window shutters, rather than the usual 28 days, and allowed the store to keep the roller shutter over the main door. 

The council previously ordered nearby gun shop Tony Yozzi & Sons to remove roller shutters, even though the police had asked him to install them. That shop’s now got a steel grill over the windows.


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