A DEAL has been struck to allow a model aircraft club to continue flying from a public park.

Last month it got into a dogfight with the local authority over whether its members could continue to use Pleasington Playing Fields in Blackburn.

Blackburn with Darwen Council said new regulations meant the site was no longer appropriate for the practice and proposed to prohibit it.

Blackburn and District Model Aircraft Club vowed to fight the ban saying town hall officials had misunderstood the new rules.

Now following a meeting it has been given permission to carry on flying from the playing fields subject to new safety procedures.

It has been flying from the site since 1938.

The club has produced a comprehensive risk assessment with new safe operating practices.

These include: no models over 7.5Kg or gas turbine powered models to be flown; the maximum numbers of aircraft airborne at any time limited to six; and additional spotters to alert flyers to any hazards.

Blackburn and District Model Aircraft Club chairman Chris Boardman said: "Model aeroplane flying is a recognised sport and this is the only site we have for this activity in the borough.

"Flying is a hobby that brings residents of all ages together for a common interest so we are really pleased that we are able to continue flying safely from this site."

Cllr Damian Talbot, Blackburn with Darwen Council's leisure boss, said: "I am pleased that the council and the flying club have been able to reach an agreement on a range of additional safe operating procedures to enable the club to continue flying at Pleasington.

"Whilst we have to take into account the safety of all park users, we also have to bear in mind the club have flown aircrafts at the site for over 80 years with an impeccable safety record.

"The club have also implemented a range of new safety measures.

"We hope that the club and residents feel that this is a reasonable compromise to ensure the continuation of safe flying operations from the site."