AN ENGINEER from Erith cannot believe he needs permission to have four CCTV cameras at his home.

Michael Hix, 49, has been told by Bexley Council he must pay £172 to apply for planning permission for the cameras or face having them removed if they remain less than 10 metres apart.

The Town and Country Planning Act states cameras at private homes must be this far from each other or permission is required from the local planning authority.

But Mr Hix is refusing to pay for an application for his end-of-terrace home in Pearswood Road and says his security system is only moving with the times.

The father-of-one told News Shopper: "I feel I am being victimised in respect of the rules being too British, is the word I’d use.

"They do not reflect the times and they are still back in the 1980s.

"Nobody likes being filmed but everywhere you go these days you are on camera and it’s purely for your protection and everyone else’s as well.

"The policy needs to be changed to reflect how society is now."

News Shopper:

Two of the offending cameras.

Mr Hix says the cameras cost around £500 with one over his doorway, another trained on his work van and car, a third on the entrance to his driveway and a fourth facing the railway bridge at the end of his road.

He claims youths sometimes congregate there and engage in anti-social behaviour.

He said: "I don’t believe I should have to pay £172 to find out whether I can keep them.

"What difference do they make? It’s not as if they are big obstructions."

A Bexley Council spokeswoman said: "Unfortunately Mr Hix has put up a number of CCTV cameras on his property which do not comply with planning regulations.

"We have discussed the situation with Mr Hix and he has been advised to either remove the CCTV cameras that are within 10 metres of each other or make a planning application to keep them.

"Should he decide to make one his application would be dealt in the usual way."