Home   Malling   News   Article

'Ban drones in parks' suggests Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council

Drones could be banned from parks and open spaces, with anyone flouting the law risking a fine, a council has warned.

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council is considering adding the ban to its borough wide public space protection order - which already bars public drinking and dog fouling, among other things.

The council states: "If not properly controlled, drones could cause serious injury and harm, as well as causing a nuisance to the public."

Drones could be banned from parks and open spaces in Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.
Drones could be banned from parks and open spaces in Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.

Ryarsh businessman Andy Betts owns Esprit Drone Services, capturing aerial pictures and footage from his drones.

Mr Betts, who has volunteered his piloting skills with Kent Police and Kent Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Drones are as safe as someone on a scooter or a motorbike, in the right hands they are harmless.

"They're cheaper, quieter and safer than using helicopters for search operations or taking aerial pictures.

Haysden Country Park could soon come under a drone ban proposed by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council
Haysden Country Park could soon come under a drone ban proposed by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council

"I would be interested to hear why the council thinks drones are unsafe or a nuisance. It can't stop drones flying over its parks."

Pilots are currently split between hobbyists and licensed professionals.

Permission is needed for drones to take off or land on private property, but there is no need to ask before flying over it.

Haysden Country Park could soon come under a drone ban proposed by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council
Haysden Country Park could soon come under a drone ban proposed by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council

Hobbyists follow the Drone Code, which sets out the safe way to fly drones without affecting others.

No pilot can fly their drone higher than 120m from the ground - and any drone must be within the pilot's direct line of sight.

Drones must be kept 50m away from people and properties and 150m away from crowds and built up areas.

Mr Betts, a licensed drone pilot, added: "People are concerned about a potential security risk.

"Some people say 'you can see through my windows', when you're 120m in the air you can barely see people on the ground, let alone through people's windows."

Plans to ban drones from parks and open spaces, such as Leybourne Lakes and Haysden Country Park, are still in the early stages.

A TMBC spokeswoman said: "The council has raised this matter for consultation in response to complaints from residents about the use of drones on council land,

"Persons using drones with the permission of the council will not be subject to enforcement under the proposed new order."

If approved, the ban will start in April 2020, when pilots could face fines of up to £80 if they fly without permission.

The fine would be reduced to £50 if paid within 10 days.

Read more: The latest news from around Tonbridge and Malling.


More by this author


This website and its associated newspaper are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More