Plans to install two balconies at the home of a long-standing city company have raised fears of a security risk at Canterbury Crown Court.
There are concerns that the city’s main courthouse will suffer an “unacceptable loss of privacy” if ADM Computing’s bid to install first-floor terracing at its Chaucer Road base is approved.
HM Courts Tribunal Service (HMCTS) has objected to the IT company’s plans, highlighting how the balconies overlook private judges’ chambers and courtrooms one and two.
The vehicle docking station used by prison vans to drop off ‘high-profile’ criminals is also feared to be visible from the company’s proposed expansion.
The court has therefore called on Canterbury City Council to reject the plans on the grounds of a “security breach”.
ADM also wants to add an extra floor to an outbuilding and expand the parking lot by 15 places.
The IT support company was founded in 1984 and moved to its current location opposite the Crown Court 24 years ago.
JLL, the representative on behalf of the court, has written a letter to the municipality in which he objects to ADM’s new proposals.
It reads: “The court is hearing high-profile cases. Should safety be compromised in any way by the proposed work, such items would have to be relocated elsewhere in the country.
“This would not only contribute to the increasing backlog of cases, but would also have adverse consequences for all parties, but more specifically for victims and witnesses.
“The roof terraces will overlook the judges’ secure parking lot and Serco’s vehicle dock, which will result in an unacceptable loss of privacy and a breach of security”
“It will lead to users of the terrace spaces having a view of the judges’ chambers and courtrooms one and two.”
‘The roof terraces will offer a view of the secure parking of the judges and the vehicle dock of Serco…’
HMCTS also states how the construction of the business expansion will result in an “unacceptable level” of disruption to the functioning of the Crown Court.
“Any increase in noise and vibration levels would not only disrupt lawsuits, but would likely render courtrooms unusable,” the letter of appeal reads.
“In the current political climate and the susceptibility around increasing backlogs in Crown Court trials, this is likely to make headlines and cause further delays.”
ADM was contacted for comment but did not respond.
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