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CCTV plan for Holy Trinity Church in Cambridge amid incidents of ‘disruption and trouble’

CCTV cameras are being proposed for a Cambridge church amid disruption and trouble caused by “uninvited people” entering the building during services.

Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge Picture: Richard Marsham
Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge Picture: Richard Marsham

Plans for cameras covering the four entrances to Holy Trinity Church in Market Street have been submitted to the city council.

The church is grade II*-listed and lies within the historic core of the city centre conservation area. It sits on the corner of two busy pedestrianised shopping streets, with a pathway to the rear entrance to Marks and Spencer.

The design and access statement attached to the planning application states: “Holy Trinity is in a busy city centre location and there have been a number of incidents recently where uninvited people have entered the building during worship services or other events and caused disruption and trouble.

“It is proposed that a CCTV system is installed to improve the security and safety of staff and congregations and to act as an extra level of deterrent to anyone wishing to cause disruption.”

The applicant says the cameras and cables will be fixed by drilling only into the mortar joints wherever possible to minimise the impact on the building.

“The cameras are intended to cover the four entrances into the church,” the planning documents state.

It continues: “For two of the cameras, existing network cable near the camera locations will be extended to feed the cameras. For the two cameras at the north-west corner of the church, a new cable run will be installed.

“There will be a recording device which allows remote access for viewing and downloading the images.

“The external appearance of the building is largely unaltered and the impact of the cameras is minimal.”

Holy Trinity falls under Faculty Jurisdiction and has ecclesiastical exemption. Where ecclesiastical exemption applies, listed building consent is not required for alterations to a listed ecclesiastical building but places of worship are not otherwise exempt from the requirement to obtain planning permission.

These proposals have been granted faculty but installing a CCTV system does not fall within permitted development and the proposals also require planning permission.

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