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Man may face court over noisy cockerels

PUBLISHED: 09:03 05 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:41 03 July 2010

THE familiar noise of cockerels filling the Norfolk countryside air with their crowing is an accepted part of rural life.

However the incessant verbal volley from male chickens in one Broadland village is leading to sleepless nights for one couple who recently moved from London.

THE familiar noise of cockerels filling the Norfolk countryside air with their crowing is an accepted part of rural life.

However the incessant verbal volley from male chickens in one Broadland village is leading to sleepless nights for one couple who recently moved from London.

And the cockerel cacophony could see their neighbour end up in court - despite that fact he does not own the birds.

As reported in last week's Mercury some residents of Stokesby have taken umbrage to a small group of noisy cockerels which has made themselves at home in the front garden of Roger Popay in the last few years.

Because of the bird noise just yards from their bedroom, his neighbours have resorted to wearing ear plugs at night to try and get some sleep.

And Craig Stevens said he is about to join another neighbour in complaining to Yarmouth Borough Council about the non-stop night-time and early morning cockerel racket.

Because of the noise complaints the council could take Mr Popay to court and prosecute him under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 if he feeds the birds or offers them shelter.

Mr Stevens, a 34-year-old legal worker, says he expected some countryside noises when he left London with his wife Jane but that the night-time and early morning cacophony is too much to bear.

“I did grow up in the countryside in Essex. I agree that the countryside offers a wonderful array of sights and sounds which make it so appealing.

“However cockerels roosting in a front garden four or five yards from our bedroom window is not ideal and not something I would expect as normal.

“Since moving to the village we have not, despite the use of ear plugs, had one night of unbroken sleep. Not one.

“We have no wish to ruffle feathers but the situation we are faced with is not a normal countryside problem.”

Mr Popay has been told by the council that he could face court as a last resort if the cockerels roosting in his garden disrupt people's sleep and prevent residents from the peaceful enjoyment of their property.

Last week he said: “No one knows where the cockerels came from and who they belong to. They are not my birds and they are part of village life.

“You cannot stop a cockerel from crowing. They are part of the countryside.”


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