August 1 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, June 26, 2014
For five years a group of villagers have suffered sleepless nights because of hundreds of squawking parrots, it is claimed.
Residents told a meeting this week the problem has got so serious the people in Battisford, near Stowmarket, they have bought sound recording equipment to prove their case.
Parish councillors assessed a retrospective application by Peter Hammond, of Straight Road, to house the birds.
Sarah Griffiths, also of Straight Road, said: “This has been going on for about five years now and the number of parrots we are talking about are 400 to 500, so we believe.
“We had to go inside when we tried to have a family meal out there because of the noise.
“We are really concerned it’s devaluing the value of our properties. We have said if it continues, we cannot. The children are going to school tired, (and are) not sleeping at night with the dogs barking.”
The meeting heard how the birds can often start making noise from 5am.
Mr Hammond, whose application also asks for permission to keep gun dogs, did not attend the meeting to respond to the claims.
Mike Ashley, also of Straight Road, said: “This is what concerns me – if they (Mid Suffolk District Council) will not close the whole thing down, how strong are they going to be to make sure the number of parrots and dogs does not increase?”
Chris Knock, the parish chairman, said: “One of my hopes was to go down the line of a zoo licence, but Mr Hammond’s answer to that is that it’s not a business.”
He added that a straw wall, erected to dampen the noise, had not worked.
The parish council is now working on a re-drafting a letter by councillor and concerned resident John Olley which will be sent to Mid Suffolk.
Mrs Griffiths said: “We have had sound equipment in our house but never received information about that, we had to phone Mid Suffolk so many times.”
Parish councillor Clive Nicholas said she should get a GP’s letter detailing how the alleged noise was “detrimental” to the health of her family, which includes four children.
Police community support officer Matt Brown said similar evidence should be sought from the children’s teachers.
Mr Knock said it had been “very hard” to get “any action” from Mid Suffolk over the noise complaints made.
The parish council has until July 3 to submit their letter. Villagers and the parish council are also calling on district councillor Patricia Godden to bring the application before a committee.