Drones introduced to check UK planning applications
Local UK councils have reported using drones to help monitor the homes of those applying for planning applications, as well as conditions of council buildings, dangerous structures, and coastal erosion.
Drones can be used to conduct surveys that would otherwise be difficult or dangerous for council employees, such as surveying bridges or high building where access is restricted.
Whilst the use of hired drones in this way can be incredibly beneficial to council planning enforcement and planning departments, many have raised concerns over the potential invasions of privacy, in particular the Liberal Democrat Party, which has called for a code of practice to monitor the use of drones.
This would involve giving residents notice of drone fly-overs, and only using drones when it is deemed necessary and appropriate.
Renate Samson, Chief Executive of Campaigners Big Brother Watch, told The Telegraph:
“As complaints from the general public to the police regarding drones increase year on year, councils must refrain from using this technology as flying spies in the sky”.
Further monitory measures will include drone operators needing to be Civil Aviation Authority approved, avoiding flying over highly congested areas, and flying 50m away from any structures or people.