A MAN living next to Morrisons is fuming at CCTV cameras which peer into his bedroom and bathroom, with residents comparing it to a prison camp.
Locals fear the cameras in the car park at the branch in North Lane in Faversham, Kent, have been installed without planning permission.
But after it emerged the devices were not signed off by Swale Borough Council, Morrisons applied for retrospective permission to keep the equipment in place as part of its efforts to crack down on parking violations.
Many locals are unhappy with the bid and have lodged objections with some believing the security system is invading their privacy.
In a letter sent to the local authority, West Street resident Ralph Sinclair said: “I have an uninterrupted view of the camera every time I look out of my kitchen, bedroom, bathroom or rear living room window – and it could have an uninterrupted view of me.
"This is an unacceptable breach of privacy.
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“While Morrisons does not contribute a great deal to the character of this section of the conservation area, that does not mean they should be granted carte blanche to degrade it further through intrusive, ugly cameras.
“The ANPR system represents an invasion of privacy, is an eyesore in a conservation area and is unnecessary.”
Back in 2017, Morrisons retrospectively applied for planning permission for a separate security system which was shot down by the council.
At the time, officials branded the equipment "intrusive and unattractive features", reports Kent Online.
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And after the launch of the latest bid, residents have also raised concerns about the lights illuminating the car park.
Fuming locals compared the bright lights to living near to a "prison camp".
Neighbour Susan Lamberton said: “Living directly opposite now means the lights shine right into both our front bedrooms.
“The whole installation resembles a prison camp and is certainly not in keeping with a conservation area.
“We also have no guarantee that the ANPR cameras are not able to see into our home which is an additional concern.”
While the floodlighting is not a new feature of Morrisons' car park, residents now say the illuminations are required to be on all night to allow the ANPR to function.
But a spokesman for the popular supermarket chain stresses the cameras use infrared technology which do not require additional lighting.
A Morrisons supermarket spokesman said in papers lodged with the borough council: "The proposal will assist in the management of the existing car park that serves the food store.
“Due to their small-scale and discrete nature, it is considered that the development is appropriate in its context and does not result in harm to the conservation area or to the listed buildings in its vicinity.
“The proposals also do not compromise the visual amenity of neighbouring properties.”
A Morrisons spokesman added that the cameras were installed "to ensure adequate parking opportunities for our customers at all times".
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He continued: "The system is used for car park management only, it is not a CCTV system and it complies with all GDPR regulations.
"We can confirm that we have submitted a robust planning application with detailed information explaining how the proposal complies with all policy requirements, adheres to the local authority's heritage and conservation policy."
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