Ely Cathedral comes to the rescue of city’s faulty CCTV system

Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral - Credit: Archant

Ely and Soham’s CCTV system has been boosted after plans to install an antenna on Ely Cathedral were given the go-ahead.

Cambridge-based company Air Broadband has been granted planning permission to install a communication antenna on the cathedral’s west tower, allowing the CCTV cameras in Ely and Soham to operate wirelessly.

The project has been backed by the City of Ely Council, which has come under fire in recent months after it was revealed that parts of Ely and Soham had been without coverage.

Problems arose with the system when technicians attempted to convert them from fibre-optic to wireless – a move designed to make operating the cameras more affordable for the city council and Soham Town Council.

But technical problems encountered while updating the cameras led to faults in the system, with some cameras not functioning at all.

It is hoped that the new antenna will allow the 35 cameras to get back up and running again in the coming weeks and months.

Air Broadband told the district council: “At present the cameras are linked using expensive cable from BT and they wish to replace this with wireless links which will be cheaper to run.

Most Read

“The individual cameras will communicate with the antennae on the tower and then all signals collated and transmitter to the police station on Lynn Road using a point-point wireless link. Soham will have a similar installation, using the church as the wireless point, and a point-point wireless link back to Ely Cathedral.

“This project is important for the civic safety and maintenance of the city.”

English Heritage was consulted on the plans and gave its blessing to the proposal.

Sheila Stones, inspector for English Heritage said: “We were satisfied that adequate justification had been provided for the proposals and considered the detailed design of the broadband and CCTV equipment would not cause harm to the significance of the Cathedral.

“The scheme would therefore be in accordance with guidance in the national planning policy framework.”