Ban on sky lanterns and mass balloon releases could be on the horizon in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 06:28 25 July 2018 | UPDATED: 07:56 25 July 2018

A call has been made for a ban on sky lanterns: Pic:: Chiang Ying-ying / AP

A call has been made for a ban on sky lanterns: Pic:: Chiang Ying-ying / AP


Sky lanterns may soon be a thing of the past in the Norwich area, along with the mass release of balloons.

Members of Norwich’s Green Party have called for the lanterns to be banned by the city council, amid rising fears they could spark fires during the hot spell.

Denise Carlo, leader of the Green group of Norwich City Council tabled a questions about sky lanterns at full council on Tuesday, seeking agreements that they should be banned.

In response, Kevin Maguire, cabinet member for safe city environment, responded by saying plans for the ban were already under way, with the prohibition to be recommended in a report going before cabinet in September.

Ms Carlo said: “Norwich has had very little rain for several weeks now. The threat of fire is now heightened and some areas of Norwich, especially Mousehold Heath, are vulnerable.

“I’m concerned that a fire started accidentally by a sky lantern could do enormous damage.”

In his reply, Mr Maguire said: “The recommendation in the report will not only seek approval to ban sky lanterns, but also the mass release of balloons into the outdoor environment.

“Sky lanterns and balloons not only pose a fire risk but are also a significant threat to wildlife and livestock from ingestion and entanglement through the panic they case.

“They are also a potential source of litter and waste in our environment.”

Mr Maguire added that the report is listed in the council’s published forward plan and is due to be debated on Wednesday, September 19.

The lanterns have already been banned by a number of councils, including Norfolk County Council, Broadland District Council, North Norfolk District Council and West Norfolk Council.

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