As part of the deterrent measures against gulls nesting in residential areas in Cheltenham, the borough council is considering buying a drone that will spot gull nests in out-of-reach places, to make oiling the eggs easier and prevent hatching.
Councillor Max Wilkinson (LD, Oakley), however, expressed his concerns over whether the anti-gull drone could see into their bedroom windows.
He said at a scrutiny meeting held on Monday night, that “There are clearly issues of privacy we must consider. I don’t know whether you know regulations around flying drones near buildings but this could be a worry for residents.”
Klara Sudbury, former Mayor and lead councillor for the gull problem, said she did not know the regulations on how close someone can fly near a residential building.
She further described the success of the introduction of drones to control gull numbers by the Worcester City Council earlier this year.
A council working group came up with a series of recommendations to put to Cheltenham Borough Council’s cabinet to agree next week, including increasing the urban gull budget by £10,000, and making residents treat gull nests themselves.
Mrs Sudbury is passionate about the issue, as she was heard crying in a private room after the debate at the Cheltenham Borough Council meeting. She explained that her tears were not as a result of being questioned but because many residents were affected by the issue and she and others had tried hard to represent their experiences well through this report in the short time they had to write it. “I was frustrated on their behalf,”she said.