August 1 2014 Latest news:
Kath Sansom, .
Thursday, May 22, 2014
A 12th-century church tower is set to become home to 21st century technology in the fight against crime.
Antennae will be mounted on top of the tower of St Andrew’s Church, Soham, that will link the town’s CCTV cameras with the control room in Ely.
The City of Ely Council has been successful in obtaining permission from East Cambridgeshire District Council for the scheme.
Four antenna wil project above the embattled parapet of the church tower forming part of the wireless surveillance system.
The city council has moved to a new digital wireless camera system and needs the antennae to transmit live pictures from the town back to Ely police station.
The Grade I listed medieval church, which sits within a conservation area, has been described in planning documents as a “prominent landmark” within a market town but according to reports it was felt that the antennae would not ruin its heritage.
The City of Ely Council and Soham Town Council jointly fund a CCTV system which covers the centres of both locations.
The west tower, dating from the sixteenth century, is more than 65ft high and in its application, the city council said the antenna will be “installed sympathetically” on the tower to ensure there is “no harm to the significance to the heritage asset”.
East Cambridgeshire District Council agreed to the plans saying the antenna would not physically disturb special features of historical interest.