Bid to crack down on fireworks noise levels and Chinese lanterns in East Devon

Calls for a crackdown on fireworks noise levels and the use of Chinese lanterns in East Devon have been backed by district councillors. 

Members unanimously supported a bid to ask the Government to ban the sale of pyrotechnics over 90 decibels to the public – as well as the airborne paper illuminations.

Both are set to be barred from the authority’s land and property.

Fireworks display organisers will also be asked to advertise their events in advance to allow nearby residents to protect their pets and vulnerable people.

Councillor Mike Allen put forward the motion last week and said: “No-one has a problem with the average firework display, but they have become increasingly noisy and anyone who has a pet realises that too many loud bangs make their pet nervous and frequent loud fireworks do create a problem.

“We simply asks that any public firework displays are notified to the council, are advertised so people can take appropriate measures, and to encourage local suppliers to have quieter fireworks.

“I ask the council consider approving this and make one step forward for human-kind and animal-kind.”

Cllr David Key, who seconded the motion, added: “As a livestock keeper, these bangs are a lot louder than they used to be.

“The companies should be approached to reduce the sound noise of the fireworks.”

He added that Chinese Lanterns should be banned. He recalled one coming down in Dorset, landing on a farm and ‘burning it down’.

Cllr Philip Skinner added: “The lanterns go off into the air and there is no control over where they go and where they land – and they could land anywhere.”

Councillors unanimously agreed to request that organisers of all public firework displays in East Devon advertise them in advance of the event to allow residents to take precautions for animals and vulnerable people.

Members will also to write to the Government urging it to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks sold to the public for private displays to 90 decibels.

The request also encourages local suppliers to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public use.

Councillors also recommended that the authority’s drone policy be adapted to prohibit the release of lanterns and balloons from EDDC land and property, as well as the use of any fireworks above 90 decibels.

Concerns were, however, raised about how enforceable the motion was.

Cllr Phil Twiss said the wording could need to be ‘beefed up’ as suppliers or organisers of fireworks displays could just say ‘no’ to the request.

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