Pigeon loft impact on residential amenity acceptable in enforcement wrangle

An enforcement notice issued by a north Yorkshire council requiring the removal of two pigeon lofts at the appellant's house, was struck down an inspector deciding that the birds caused little impact on neighbour residents by virtue of odour, vermin, noise and general disturbance.

The council had granted permission for a smaller loft which had been erected by the appellant but two additional lofts had also been constructed which were capable of accommodating up to 200 birds. The appellant stated that he raced the pigeons which could require him to attend up to 17 events per year.

The size of the garden enabled the lofts to be accommodated without difficulty the inspector noted and the closest residential property was 40 metres distant. The council’s environmental health officer in commenting on a previous application had not raised the issue of harm to neighbours and in his opinion no significantly adverse impacts had arisen. The storage and disposal of pigeon waste could be controlled by condition the inspector noting that the council had failed to enforce a similar condition imposed on the permission for the smaller loft. Burning waste on site was bad practice but the council were able to monitor and enforce safe disposal. Another condition was imposed limiting the keeping of pigeons to private use only.

Inspector: Andrew Dale; Written representations

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