THE BATTLE for Blackburn’s skies between a 72-year-old model aircraft enthusiast and the borough council was stepped up yesterday when he served legal papers on the town hall.
Michael Parkinson is seeking injunctions against the council and Blackburn and District Model Aircraft Club over their threat to prevent him flying his planes on Pleasington playing field.
Blackburn with Darwen Council’s legal department warned the pensioner it will take him to court and have him removed from the fields by police if necessary.
In 2012, the Pendle Drive resident was refused membership of the Blackburn and District Model Aircraft Club, which organises the sport in the borough, and then banned from using the fields by the council in a dispute over its exclusive rights over who flies there.
Despite the warnings, Mr Parkinson remains determined to fly his models at the spot where he first took his remote-controlled plane aged 11.
Now, he has served legal papers on both the council and club, seeking an injunction from Burnley Crown Court forbidding them from ‘preventing the claimant from flying powered model aircraft’ on the fields.
He has also asked the council to produce the agreement it claims exists giving the club exclusive rights over who flies there and when.
Mr Parkinson, who has seven radio-controlled planes and gliders with wing-spans of up to 12 feet, has also circulated a letter to members of the borough executive board outlining his case.
He said: “The council is here to serve the people of the borough not tell them what to do.
“I am prepared to take this to the High Court if necessary.
“Despite being told I cannot fly on Pleasington fields, I will do so.
“I cannot understand why the council is wasting taxpayers’ money on this issue.”
Since BDMAC refused him membership, Mr Parkinson has taken both the club and council to court, written dozens of letters and held meetings with officials of both bodies.
Blackburn MP Jack Straw has tried to resolve the row, but Mr Parkinson has declined his offer to meet him at one of his regular constituency surgeries.
A council spokesman said: “We have received legal documentation from Mr Parkinson and will be looking at it in due course.”
BDMAC secretary Kevin Watson declined to comment on Mr Parkinson’s latest legal move.