THE father of teenager Tara Lipscombe, who died when a model aircraft struck her on Dartford Heath, has said the decision to ban flying there for good is common sense at last.

Graham Lipscombe, 50, of Wilmot Road, says Dartford Council's decision for a complete ban shows "common sense has prevailed".

But he said: "Why has it taken 20 years of complaints, near misses and for someone to die to get it banned?"

Dartford councillors agreed to change the by-laws to prohibit flying model aircraft on the heath at a cabinet meeting on November 27.

And people are expected to adhere to a voluntary ban, introduced after 13-year-old Tara died in April, until the new laws come into place.

The decision on whether to ban flying on the heath was delayed earlier last month so feedback from the inquest into the death of the Wilmington Grammar School for Girls pupil could be considered.

The inquest, which gave a verdict of accidental death, heard the British Model Flying Association (BMFA) considered the heath as high risk because it did not fulfil to any of its 12 safety criteria.

Julie Carr, 61, who lives near the heath and has been calling for a ban for years due to the number of model aeroplanes crashing to the ground, said after the decision: "I honestly don't think they could have done anything else."

Leader of the council Councillor Kenneth Leadbeater said: "It is explained in our report what the outcome of Tara's inquest was and how very sorry we all were about what happened.

"We want to convey our condolences to the family for their sad loss."

Councillors agreed immediate action to change the by-laws was vital because the process could be lengthy and will involve getting permission from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minster.

Model aircraft have been flown on the heath since the 1920s but have become larger, faster, more sophisticated and potentially more dangerous as a result.