Council byelaws (again !)

Came across this (scroll down to air space)
Does it make any difference to people’s thoughts about flying over council parks etc?

The last few days have been very quiet in terms of wind noise and the noise from vehicles and industry. My Mavic Air has been audible at greater heights and distances than normal. Even so no-one has looked up when I’m flying above 50m.

So I consider that kind of height as being the acceptable minimum for me to fly over land belonging to another person or organisation without either invading their privacy or affecting their enjoyment of the property and its environment.

1 Like

Must admit to flying at maximum legal height when heading over houses or any buildings in built up areas / sections just to keep out the way. Dont wish to arouse any attention whatsoever . No sir’ee.

:grin:

1 Like

They are noisy beasts. I’ve said before that I have lost VLOS ov my Air at under 200m but I can still hear the damn thing…!

Unfortunately, that’s not for you to decide…

There are other articles in t’web that consider the airspace above you which you can have control over to be about - drum roll - 50m.

As usual with drones, if you look at logically it seems unfair to punish drones for things you don’t punish other people for.
Do you have to be 50m from a house to limit the noise from cars/buses/motorbikes/trains.
Should double decker buses be allowed to drive past allowing people to see over your fence into your upstairs windows?
Should people have to put cameras away when walking past your house and sign up to the data protection legislation?

There is legislation there already concerning privacy if someone was to hover over your garden or outside your window, so why add more?

Well parks could be considered to be another area that you can’t fly over (regardless of any byelaws)
This is the CAA definiton of a congested area.
" A congested area means, ‘in relation to a city, town or settlement, any area which is substantially used for residential, commercial, industrial or recreational purposes’."
So I guess a park would be considered a recreational area so flying is a nono unless done with full risk assessment etc with a PfCO.
Yet another grey area that could be thrown at us. Hopefully some common sense would prevail.

Most parks are covered by by local by laws and flying is not allowed. However, I have found that if you find the description of what the local council means by “model aircraft” Northampton county council description start with model aircraft over 5 Kg !! So maybe their is a window of opportunity.
“Drone” is mentioned in the title in search results but not in the actual description detailed in the bylaw.
I have written to my MP to see if flying in parks or green sites can be relaxed. My basis of the request Is backed up by the new CAA guideline as they class the Mavic Mini a C1 type model.
The risk assessment performed by the CAA concludes that models in this class are of no risk of injury to people or damage to property.
I won’t hold my breath though :grinning:

Been reading up on bylaws on .Gov site take a look at Making a new Byelaw it states

“In carrying out the regulatory assessment, the local authority must consult such persons as it considers may be affected by the proposed byelaw – which may include persons who are not resident in the area of the authority. This is particularly important in relation to byelaws concerning parks and recreation grounds, where those visiting and using public facilities and therefore subject to the byelaws, if made, may not be local residents”

So basically they can’t just make a Byelaws banning drones without proper consultation, that’s how I read it, I suppose this debate could go on and on what it needs is a test case.

2 Likes

I have read similar articles and I am always a little sceptical of words like”consult” as it is not definitive . I would like to tackle the argument on the basis that drones were not on general sale, and certainly were no as readily available, when the by laws were put in place. In lots of circumstances the petrol used to fuel the RC aircraft was a concern.
By laws are also put in place for the enjoyment of all, so I believe some parks or green areas should be made available for us.

Good point.

I’ve checked my county council site (Lancashire) and there’s no reference to drones. Nor is there any mention on the city (Lancaster) and town council (Morecambe) sites. As a hobby flyer, does that mean I can fly the drone from the local parks and beaches as long as I follow the drone code?

If anyone knows the area, I’m thinking of Happy Mount Park and Williamson’s Park. I appreciate there may be notices at the park entrances which I’ll look for first.

1 Like

“Public” parks are usually private land owned by the local council. You don’t need their prior permission to use the land, but they do retain a right to declare anyone they don’t want there to be a trespasser, and ask them to move off the land. If they did have a drone policy, that would basically be a statement of who they would consider to be a trespasser.

Lancaster City Council do have a Public Spaces Protection Order in place, see https://www.lancaster.gov.uk/community/public-spaces-protection-orders-pspo, this covers certain areas in Morecambe, Heysham and Happy Mount Park. It says nothing specifically about drones, but it does make it a criminal offence to

cause annoyance, harassment, alarm or distress to any person within the Designated Area or on land adjacent to the Designated Area or to any person living nearby

There are other legal issues anyway with causing harassment, nuisance and invasion of privacy, but the PSPO makes it all much easier for the police to deal with.

They have drawn up their PSPO maps to include beach areas, but I’ve no idea whether that’s legally valid or not.

HOWEVER … you mention following the drone code. From the maps, it looks like all of Happy Mount Park is within 150m of a “congested” area, so the drone code won’t let you fly there. Some areas of Williamson’s Park are outside the 150m limit, but not many, so it doesn’t look like me like a great place to fly if you’re keen to follow the code.

Thank you for the very comprehensive reply. Didn’t know about PSPO’s so I’ll take a more detailed read of them. I thought the golf club edge of HMP might be more than 150m from property and I know parts of Williamson’s are more than 150m away.

There are parts of the beach where the road is a distance away so it doesn’t take much of a stroll to be 150m away.

I do try to follow the code and If I don’t, it’s a genuine mistake like not being able to work out what’s 150m! Time to look for a distance measuring app :grin:

Thanks again,

Brian.

I think it’s important to apply common sense rather than to get the tape measure out, that’s for sure :slight_smile:

1 Like

It certainly is. For example I’ve flown from a piece of land where I’m not sure who owns it. It’s between a main road and the gated entrance of an old gym, now a dog swimming therapy place. There is a small bay where you can park 3 cars, it’s about 90mtr from the main road and the gym gates were locked shut. There’s 3 houses just beyond the gym, 160m away. From there I flew either parallel with or away from the shore and kept away from the houses.

Probably not sticking to the letter of the drone code but common sense says I was aware of what I was doing and judged it to be safe, at that time.

1 Like

The magic words of the Snowflake Generation.

1 Like

Moved your post, and replies, to this thread.

2 Likes

Harassment has a legal definition. The main problem in the Lancaster PSPO is the word “annoyance”, which is just a permission to turn any complaint, however unreasonable, into a crime.

@ToBAS I’ve flown from VVV car park
How low can you go
The congested area rule is a grey area, so you can get away with some flights very early in the morning. I’ve done this at 5am in summer to get Ashton Memorial.
For general practice I go to shore rd in carnforth over the river from the stock car club.
Most of the beach area is usable as you say a short walk and you are away from people.
The car park near the old bubbles site is usable early morning 6/7 am.
I have flown from the battery car park to get sun sets (even with 8 police officers 4 coast guard and 4 medics close by).

2 Likes

I agree pick your times and you are unlikely to have any problems

1 Like