A BACUP man claims his business is being driven into the ground due to council rules on shop shutters.

Shazad Iqbal has been in charge of Chixy’s Chicken Shop in Union Street for 18 months but says he could be forced to close after Rossendale Council fined him £2,500 for installing metal shutters without their permission.

He lost his case in Burnley Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and must pay the costs within three weeks.

Mr Iqbal, who employs five staff, said officials must accept the fact that Bacup has a vandalism problem and that small businesses depend on shutters for security. Because of the town’s status as an urban conservation area, certain types of shutter are banned.

Mr Iqbal said: “I took my fee to the council to apply for planning permission and was told bluntly that I would not be successful.

“I’ve had windows and doors smashed and someone trying to rob the till and computer. I can’t take any chances. I even offered to only put them down from 11pm to 7am, or put in shutters with bigger holes.”

Shutters that have already been in place for four years are not affected by the ruling and Greensclough councillor Jimmy Eaton said: “I have contacted the licensing department asking to review the entire situation. We can’t have one rule for one business and one rule for another.”

A council spokesman said: “There are several other ways businesses can secure their properties including internal shutters and lattice type external shutters.”