Council to curb use of Chinese lanterns

Cabinet councillors at Lewes District Council have agreed to introduce new licencing conditions to curb the use of Chinese lanterns on council owned land.

In future, any organisation or individual that wants to hire council land for an event, will be required to sign a licence that prohibits the release of a lighted sky lantern or helium balloon.

The lanterns are already banned in some areas in the UK due to the environmental risks that they pose. The RSPCA, Civil Aviation Authority, the Marine Conservation Society and National Farmers’ Union are also campaigning to have Chinese lanterns outlawed.

Councillor Sarah Osborne made the proposal at a previous Cabinet meeting and received unanimous backing for the measure.

Councillor Osborne said: “I’m pleased that we are now a lot closer to having formal regulations in place that will stop people releasing lighted lanterns and helium balloons on council land.

“The lanterns can float for miles and when they come down can cause dreadful injuries to animals and present a real fire risk.”

The council will continue to monitor the issues created by the release of lanterns and helium balloons in the district and if necessary will consider introducing additional regulations.
Published on 12 February, 2019