Filming with drones

Drones and other Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) cannot take off or land on Council land without our permission. Permission will generally only be granted where usage of a drone aids risk reduction in the workplace such as working at height, land and building survey work and or undertaking a professional service such as at festivals and events, or if the filming can be supported in line with our film-friendly policy.

UK drone flying laws and restrictions

All owners and operators of UAVs must comply with UK drone laws. Information on safe and legal flying is available from the CAA and the Dronesafe websites:

Airport and other airfield restrictions

The government has introduced a restriction around every protected aerodrome in the UK, which is a 2 (or 2.5) nautical mile radius cylinder and a series of 5 km rectangular zones from the end of each runway threshold – all of which extend up to 2000 feet above the surface.

It is illegal to fly anywhere in this area without permission from the air traffic control unit at the aerodrome, or if not operational, from the aerodrome itself.

Airspace restrictions map

This map enables droneoperators to remain clear of airspace restrictions, and to find out how to obtain permission to fly within them.

It is illegal to fly any drone at any time within these airspace restrictions, unless you have permission from the aerodrome, air traffic control unit or whichever agency is responsible for issuing permission.

Non-professional use

We will generally not grant permission to private individuals to take off or land their drone on our land.

You should ensure any images you obtain using your drone do not break privacy laws, as well as the mandatory drone laws.

How to request permission

If you are a commercial operator and would like permission for a drone to take off or land on our property or the public highway for filming purposes you will need to complete a filming application.

Alongside the application you will need to provide:

  • A copy of your CAA Licence
  • A copy of your public liability insurance (minimum £5 million)
  • A copy of your flight plan including launch and landing points
  • A copy of your risk assessment

Your risk assessment should show how you will comply with the terms of your CAA licence.

Decision making

We normally require a minimum of seven days’ notice to consult with key stakeholders.

Our decision will take into consideration any disturbance, annoyance, harassment or distress which may be caused to site occupants/users during take-off, landing and on the flight path of the drone.

It is unlikely that applications which include flight paths over sites of important biological interest will be approved during the main bird breeding season of 1 March to 31 July as UAVs can appear as predators.

Depending on the nature of your request you may be required to pay an administration fee and/or a location fee.