Dover District Council's Cabinet is to consider plans to ban the release of sky lanterns and helium balloons from Council owned land and buildings.
Helium balloons and sky lanterns are harmful to wildlife, marine life, and farm animals, and represent a significant fire risk. As well as contaminating and littering the environment, they can also contribute to false alarms to the Coastguard.
The Chief Fire Officers’ Association, National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and RSPCA are all urging people to consider alternatives to sky lanterns. The MCS, RSPCA, RSPB, Keep Britain Tidy and the NFU are also calling for bans on mass balloon releases.
More than 50 local authorities have now banned balloon/lantern releases.
DDC’s Cabinet will consider plans to amend the terms and conditions of hire and event guidance for the use of Council land, to prohibit the release of helium balloons and sky lanterns from Council owned land and buildings.
Cllr Trevor Bartlett, DDC Cabinet Member for Property Management and Environmental Health said: "Sky lanterns and helium balloons may look pretty, but they create a whole host of problems for our communities.
"As a coastal and rural community we’ve listened to the growing concerns on this matter. This is a common sense approach that would affect events where the release of helium balloons and lanterns is planned. Taking the lead on this matter is the right thing to do, and we are considering amending our events policy."
The ban will be considered by DDC’s Cabinet at its meeting on 2 July.