This council has banned drones in parks and public spaces – Staffordshire Live

Recreational and leisure use on land owned by the local authority will not be permitted
Drones can only be used on Stafford Borough Council’s land for work reasons according to a new policy – meaning parks and public open spaces are a no-fly zone for leisure purposes.
In recent years the flying of smaller drones has become increasingly popular for recreational uses such as capturing birds-eye images of the world, as well as proving a helpful tool for tasks including land and building survey work.
But drone use has also led to concerns about noise nuisance and privacy if the machines are flown over residential gardens, as well as the potential danger of the aircraft to wildlife and people, particularly when they are being landed.
A number of local authorities have drawn up regulations governing the use of drones in public spaces. And now Stafford Borough Council has devised its own policy, which was backed by cabinet members at their meeting on Thursday (June 10).
Anyone wishing to fly a drone from or above borough council land will have to gain permission from the authority first. And it will only be granted where drone usage helps to reduce risks of working at height or aids professional services.
Deputy leader Councillor Mike Smith told fellow cabinet members: “There have been a few requests by people to operate drones on council-owned land and therefore we need to have a consistent policy.
“If it’s work related – especially if it avoids the danger of working at height – then we’re OK with it. But we will not sanction the use for recreational purposes.
“There is always a risk that if the operator is careless a drone could injure somebody. The council would then have a liability if that was to happen.”
A report presented to Thursday’s meeting said: “The reasons for this policy (are) the close proximity of many of our parks and open spaces or other council owned land to neighbouring residential and business properties and the potential risk of causing disturbance, annoyance or harassment to occupants and the users (and) potential risk of accident, injury to visitors and site users to parks and green spaces or council property as a result of user or drone error.
“Granting permission could leave the council liable for subsequent actions brought about by drone activity when operated from land in the council’s ownership. (There is) potential risk of causing alarm, distress or harassment to the wildlife and biodiversity within the council’s parks and green spaces.
“Civil Aviation Authority guidance (specifies) that drones must not be flown within 50m from people, vehicles and buildings and/or over congested areas.”
Anyone wishing to request permission to fly a drone over council land will need to email its legal services department and provide a description of the purpose of the flight, details of launch and landing points and planned flight time and copies of a risk assessment and public liability insurance.

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