METAL security shutters on shops and takeaways could be outlawed to stop Bolton "looking like Beirut".

Councillors want store owners to install more attractive grille-style shutters instead of the older plain metal varieties.

And they have asked officers to consider amending planning policies to make it a condition that all new shop developments across the borough could only install grilles.

Cllr Walter Hall, Conservative for Bradshaw, said some shop owners had already started to use the modern shutters and that he hoped others would follow their example.

"We do recognise that security is important but the metal shutters are awful, they make Bolton look like Beirut," he said.

"On some stretches of St George's Road and Tonge Moor Road there are loads of takeaways that are closed during the day and the metal shutters make the town look deserted."

Cllr Hall said the issue arose during discussions between members of Bolton Council's planning committee and that outlets which already have older metal shutters would not be affected.

Planning committee member Cllr Nick Peel, Labour member for Tonge, is also backing the plans.

He said: "We have to create a balance between the shop owners and members of the community, and we need to make sure they don't feel like they live on an industrial estate."

However, Julie Charlston, who owns Paul and Julie's Pantry in Bridgeman Place, Bolton, said the plans were unfair.

The 44-year-old said: "It's absolutely ludicrous. If we have the see-through shutters, my till and all my stock will be on display to thieves.

"There have already been three butty shops broken into round here quite recently."

Gerry McLaughlin of Bolton Gate security installation, said the grille shutters are much more expensive.

Mr McLaughlin said: "A 2-metre by 2-metre metal shutter would cost £1,300, whereas a grille shutter would cost more than twice that at £2,700."