The use of paper chinese style sky lanterns could be banned on all Hampshire County Council owned land in future.
The candle powered sky lights act as mini hot air balloons and have been a popular way to mark family celebrations or events but Hampshire is responding to a call by the RSPCA and many other organisations concerned by the practice.
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, the continuing sale and use of 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.
The Leader of Hampshire County Council Roy 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.
Given these concerns, and in the absence of a Government ban, at my decision day as Executive Member for Policy and Resources, on 26 September, I will be considering a ban on their use on all County Council-owned property.”