Proposals to ban drones from parts of Corby move a step closer

An aerial shot of Corby taken by Kenneth Moore using a drone
An aerial shot of Corby taken by Kenneth Moore using a drone

Proposals to ban drones from flying over land owned by Corby Council have taken a step forward.

Councillors on Corby Council’s One Corby committee last night (Tuesday) voted to agree officer recommendations to stop people flying the camera carrying devices over its land.

However, councillors have asked that the report goes to the authority’s scrutiny committee in light of new national legislation that has recently come into force.

The council is proposing to alter existing by-laws for leisure grounds, parks and open spaces that were first adopted in the early 1970s.

The proposal will go out to public consultation and come back to the One Corby committee meeting before any new by-law would be brought into effect.

Drone fan Ian Bateman, who lives on the Danesholme estate and flies the aircraft with his grandchildren, spoke against the move at the meeting held at Corby Cube.

He said that the ‘council did not own the air space’ and that concerns about the privacy invasion were misplaced.

He said: “There are cameras everywhere, at the shopping centres, on cars.

“In public spaces there is no such thing as privacy.”

Officer Chris Stephenson said the council did not want to be ‘killjoys’ but that a policy needed to be adopted as the authority could be liable if someone was injured as a result of drone activity.

He said that the council did not have any public land viable where drone users could fly their model aircraft.

He claimed some drones had been used to fly over and observe people’s gardens.

If the policy does come into place there would be exemptions when the use of drones could  reduce risk for people working at height and also for when used at professional events such as festivals.

Exemptions would also apply to emergency service use.

Speaking in favour of the ban, Cllr Paul Beattie said the proposed drone policy showed that the council was showing ‘due diligence’ and that this was an example of the council ‘being responsible’.

In the past few years drones have gone from niche gadgets to a popular leisure activity.

The new laws brought in by central government will require drones over a certain weight to be registered and for new owners to take tests.