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26 September 2014, 19:23
Hampshire County Council has banned the use of sky lanterns on all its land.
The leader, Councillor Roy Perry, says the council responded to a call by several organisations concerned by the lanterns with candles inside, often let off at events like birthdays and weddings.
Officials are worried about the risk the candles inside can start fires. The RSPCA says they could also harm animals.
Back in 2011, the County Council unanimously passed a motion calling on the Government to ban the use of sky lanterns. It also wrote to district councils in Hampshire asking them to ban the sale or use of sky lanterns when issuing Premises Licences for open-air events.
Since then, sky lanterns have given rise to a growing number of safety concerns due to their fire risk and risk to livestock, animals and damage to crops and property.
Councillor Perry said:
“We’ve been concerned about the safety of sky lanterns and the potential damage they can cause for some time and debated the matter three years ago. As well as their impact on the environment, livestock and animals including littering on land and at sea, they are a potential hazard to air traffic, coastal shipping and consumer safety.”