Drones will be used by councils to spy on home extensions if they suspect they are larger than planned.
North Yorkshire County Council will use its newly-bought drone to look for ‘breaches of planning controls’, it was reported.
Dozens of district and county councils are set to follow suit, applying to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for a drone licence.
The snooping has caused uproar from civil liberties campaigners, who argue it is an ‘expansion of state surveillance’, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Campaign group Big Brother Watch is urging for guidelines to be drawn up.
Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, said: ‘There’s a real risk that drones could be used by councils to expand the surveillance state.
‘There should be clear safeguards in place to make sure authorities make the best of new technologies without having free licence to snoop on the public in the absence of good reason.’
Drones are already used across the country to investigate fly-tipping. North Yorkshire recently spent almost £2,000 on an aircraft, which is to be licensed by the CAA.
The council told the newspaper the device will perform a variety of functions, including checking the work of cowboy builders, searching for livestock carcasses and ‘inspecting sites in relation to breaches of planning controls’.
More than 20 councils have been granted approval by the CAA to use drones for commercial purposes.'
Read more: Councils to use drones to spy on residents’ homes to makes sure they haven’t breached planning permission with their building projects
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