Council defends drone use to 'snoop on planning disputes'

A report has been published which claims that a council has defended the use of drones to "snoop on planning disputes" and claimed the devices "stop staff being attacked by angry homeowners".

The Telegraph reported that documents from Wealden District Council in Sussex "argue that drones benefit residents by removing ‘unnecessary stress’, because they are unaware they are being investigated". The paper says the council’s "drone policy" says the use of drones in planning enforcement investigations "will greatly reduce the risk to staff when dealing with confrontational individuals and will allow officers to make better informed decisions on how to proceed with their cases".

The Times (subscription) reported that ministers "are set to endorse a more ambitious climate target". The paper says the government’s advisory panel, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), is expected to recommend this week that the UK goes for a "net-zero" target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. "Meeting a new target would require a dramatic reduction in carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gas emissions. This would involve generating more renewable energy, changing the way homes are heated and cars are powered, and making farming more environmentally sustainable," the paper says.

The Guardian reported that developers behind the long-delayed London Resort theme park in Kent have signed an agreement with broadcaster ITV to run "ITV-inspired" attractions at the scheme. The paper says that "billed as the UK’s answer to Disneyland, the London Resort, to be sited in north Kent, was originally meant to be inspired by the films of Paramount Pictures, the Hollywood film studio behind blockbusters such as Mission Impossible, Star Trek and The Godfather. Paramount pulled out of the £3.2bn project last year but the developers have since signed agreements with Aardman Animations, BBC Worldwide and now ITV." The London Resort project would be the first commercial scheme to seek planning permission under the nationally significant infrastructure project regime.

The Times reported that Ron Dennis, the former head of the McLaren Formula One team, "has won permission to build an extensive basement garage beneath his £30 million home to house his collection of expensive sports cars." Dennis’s original application for the basement extension was refused permission by Runnymede council in Surrey seven years ago, the paper says.