Filming in Thurrock

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – location filming

We are currently considering all requests for filming activity on council-owned land or highways on a case-by-case basis. When you apply to film, please give as much detail as possible.

For each filming request, we will need a full risk assessment. Filming activity and the activities of associated cast, crew and contractors must follow British Film Commission coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance. We may ask for additional coronavirus (COVID-19) safety precautions to be put in place.

Filming by drone

We hold an Operational Authorisation from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to fly small drones up to 1,000m from the remote pilot and to within 30m of uninvolved persons. We are able to record high-quality aerial video or photography – up to 4K in resolution – and can support your filming needs within Thurrock and beyond.

Our fees are very competitive compared with other companies that offer these services. Use our application form to tell us your requirements.

Our example clip of photos and video, below, shows a footbridge – the first of its kind – being installed at a local nature reserve.

For more information, read our policy on use of drones.

Using your own drone

All drone operators must follow the CAA: Drone and Model Aircraft Code, which sets out how drones must be used safely and in line with the law.

We can grant permission to take-off and land on council or public property, but we cannot grant permission for you to access the airspace.

As drone operator, you are responsible for:

  • proper use of the airspace itself
  • compliance with the law, regulations and terms of insurance. 

If you are flying in the CAA: Specific category or the CAA: Open subcategory A, we must make sure you are a CAA-registered pilot with up-to-date documentation. This means if you would like to fly your own drone from land we own, you must provide us with copies of:

  • your Permission for Commercial Operations reference number, issued by the CAA
  • your insurance, with specific reference to using small unmanned aircraft – Regulation (EC) 785/2004 (Article 2)
  • your Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) competency pilot qualification – issued by an approved CAA training company
  • findings of a site recce that the pilot must complete before flying
  • a site-specific risk assessment
  • the weight of the drone to determine the category and limitations

We cannot give you permission for filming unless you send these documents to our Film Office.

Important rules for commercial drone operation

The drone must:

  • be in visual line of sight at all times to a maximum of 500m, unless the operator holds an exemption).
  • not fly higher than 120m (400ft)
  • not fly within 50m (492ft) of assemblies of people, with no overflight – the pilot cannot fly within 150m of a 'congested area' unless they are in the A1 or A2 or specific categories
  • not fly within 50m (164ft) of any person that is not under the remote pilot's control – reduced to 30m for the operational authorisation holder at take-off and landing
  • not fly without permission within 5km of an airport or aerodrome boundary or approach

Any exceptions are detailed in the CAA: Operating safety case or your operational authorisation document. Full details are available in the CAA: Drone and model aircraft code.

Contact us for more information.

Thurrock Film Office

: filming@thurrock.gov.uk