Councillors say CCTV cameras can stay

SECURITY cameras put up at an historic Suffolk pub can stay after councillors last night rejected fears from planning and conservation officers that they were an "unjustified disfigurement" on a listed building.

By David Lennard

SECURITY cameras put up at an historic Suffolk pub can stay after councillors last night rejected fears from planning and conservation officers that they were an "unjustified disfigurement" on a listed building.

Publican Graham Dungey installed four CCTV cameras on the exterior of the grade II listed King's Head pub in Southwold in September at a cost of £8,000.

Mr Dungey installed the cameras in an effort to prove that late-night disorderly behaviour in Southwold did not come from his customers.


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"The CCTV cameras have been welcomed by the local community and the town council and other publicans," he told members of Waveney District Council's rural area development control committee held at Beccles Public Hall.

"The local police have also said how useful it is having the cameras in place."

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Planning officers, however, had wanted the cameras removed from the centuries-old building.

Senior planning officer Tom Woolley said the test that had to be applied was whether or not the cameras enhanced the character and appearance of the listed building.

He said it was felt the cameras and associated cabling detracted from the visual appearance of the building at the junction of the High Street and Barnaby Green.

Councillors, however, were convinced that the cameras took little away from the building and also provided a community use for the town of Southwold.

The proposal to grant retrospective permission for the cameras was proposed by Southwold councillor Sue Allen and seconded by John Goldsmith, also of Southwold.

Cllr Allen said: "The cameras have already proved useful for the police and they will become an asset in the future.

"A lot of the noise disturbances in the area of the King's Head come from people leaving Southwold who have not been at the pub at all which these cameras have helped establish."

John Goldsmith, who is also a member of Suffolk County Council, said that all the district councils in Suffolk, including Waveney, have given their support for CCTV cameras.

"CCTV cameras have been proven as an effective deterrent in dealing with anti-social behaviour and I believe they are necessary in this instance," he added.

The councillors also gave retrospective planning permission for the hanging baskets and A-board signs used at the pub.

"The attractive hanging baskets are an important feature of the town and help bring people to Southwold," said Cllr Allen.

"If we banned the hanging baskets or the A-board signs it would affect virtually every business in the High Street's conservation area."

Speaking after the meeting Mr Dungey said he was delighted that the matter had been cleared up.

He added: "I believe there was some confusion in the beginning as some people thought that cabling and piping on the outside of the pub were connected to the cameras but this is not the case.

"I will be taking steps to improve the fixings of the hanging baskets for next summer and hope everyone will enjoy seeing them as they enter or leave Southwold."

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