SAINTS have been given permission to install extra performance-analysing cameras at its training ground - despite claims that neighbours could suffer loss of privacy.

Planning chiefs have approved an application to install a further three pole-mounted cameras 12 metres above the ground at the Staplewood Campus in Long Lane, Marchwood.

Saints stressed that the cameras would be fitted with "privacy masks" - but objectors claimed their privacy could not be guaranteed.

The application was opposed by Marchwood Parish Council and several people living near the 39-acre site.

In a letter to New Forest District Council parish councillors said: "The applicant is a significant landowner in this area and its day-to-day operations can have a significant impact.

"There is a significant amount of CCTV apparatus already onsite. Adding to this would seem to be overbearing and visually intrusive.

"There is also the concern that many images will be captured from outside the perimeter of the site. This will intrude upon the neighbouring properties and their occupants as they go about their day-to-day lives. No-one can guarantee the privacy masks will work in practice."

A report to district councillors said analytical cameras and CCTV systems were already being used at the site.

It added: "The boundaries of the site are relatively well screened although there are some breaks along Long Lane, mainly at the access points.

"The proposed cameras would be well within the site boundaries and would be fitted with privacy masks, which will ensure they cannot record or monitor private property, public space or people outside the area of surveillance."

The planning application said the cameras would help analyse performance and aid player development.

"Although the cameras will be seen from outside the site they will be fitted with privacy masks to ensure they do not have any impact on neighbour residential amenity," it said.

The proposal was approved at a meeting of the council's planning committee.

Representing the applicant, planning agent Mary Power said: "The club has no remote interest in looking at anything beyond its boundaries. Its only interest is the performance of players.”

Cllr Allan Glass said: “I’m quite happy that the vision is of the pitch and the pitch alone."

Cllr Anne Bellows added: “All the explanations we have had have been very thorough. It is clear that these cameras are fixed. They will not move.”