THE release of Chinese lanterns will be banned on council land after being branded a “menace”.

Tendring Council’s cabinet voted in the new rule in a bid to protect farmland and property from fires, which can be caused by stray lanterns.

It applies to all council-owned land and future events which need a council licence.

Deputy leader of the council Nick Turner said: “Even when they are set off for the best reasons and with the very best intent, they can be a menace and cause major destruction if they land in the wrong place.”

Parish councillors in Great Bentley Parish Council moved first to outlaw lanterns on its land and Tendring quickly followed.

District council leader Mick Page said: “The moment I heard that Great Bentley was introducing a ban on its land I wanted to follow it up by doing the same on ours.”