Welcome to the
Caught on camera, but no use in court?
An exclusive report by Doktor Jon - continued
In total 19 replies were received, providing a broad range of opinion.
To begin with, Doktor Jon asked whether planning approval would be required for installing a small CCTV camera at a point 2.3 metres above the ground, to watch the front door of his home.
As the minimum height for permitted development is 2.5 metres, the ODPM has confirmed that this arrangement would require a planning consent, to be lawful.
Whilst the response from planning officers resulted in 68% correctly identifying the appropriate legislation, 32% actually provided totally misleading information, indicating that this "unlawful" installation would actually be considered acceptable, within their borough.
As a further test, Doktor Jon then asked whether planning consent would be required for two Closed Circuit TV cameras fixed side by side, on an office building (see example photo above).
Again under the existing legislation, any part of the cameras must be at least 10 metres apart to be considered as permitted development; any closer and a valid planning application must be approved.
In this situation, the councils did only slightly better with 26% actually giving completely the wrong advice.
Intrigued by this response, the councils providing the correct information, were further requested to give a general indication as to how many planning applications had been received, specifically for CCTV camera installations on unlisted buildings, in the last year.
In addition, they were also asked to suggest how many enforcement notices had been issued for unlawful cameras. In total, approximately 21 planning applications and 0 enforcement notices were received, and this was for a catchment area covering almost 40% of London.
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