AN EYE in the sky will soon be on the lookout for fly-tippers and breaches of planning conditions in Rugby.
Rugby Borough Council’s Cabinet has approved the purchase of a drone, along with training for officers to use it safely.
Council officers will use the quadcopter to survey fly tipping sites, investigate planning enforcement breaches and prepare virtual site visits.
The drone will allow officers to survey unsafe buildings, inspect parks and open spaces, and investigate environmental crime more quickly and safely – and allow them to inspect previously inaccessible sites.
The equipment, licences and training will cost £9,800, with ongoing costs of £2,300 in future years – funded within existing council budgets.
Deployment of the drone will comply with Civil Aviation Authority regulations, and its use will be monitored for compliance with the Data Protection Act to protect the privacy of residents.
Rugby Borough Council’s regulation and safety spokesman Coun Derek Poole said: “Drones can provide a highly efficient and effective mechanism to improve services while reducing costs and health and safety risks. Activities that previously took days to complete, or areas that were impossible for officers to access, can be surveyed within hours.
“It is important that our communities know how we will use the images we collect, however, so we will publish our deployment policy and details of how we will protect residents’ privacy.”
Details of how the drone will be used and how privacy will be protected will be published on the council’s website.