Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Ducks may be evicted after complaint about them quacking too loudly

Quacking ducks could be evicted from their home of two years after a noise complaint. The issue has come to a head after a resident of Talke Pits in Staffordshire lodged a complaint with Kidsgrove Town Council about the commotion at Crown Bank Allotments. The woman claimed she had been driven from her front bedroom and forced to sleep in another room due to the rowdy brood. Councillor Sylvia Dymond, who is investigating the incident, said: "The ducks have been there for some time and nobody has batted an eyelid until now.

"The first step is to check what livestock the council generally allows on allotments. We'll have to see what the future holds for the furry creatures." Chairman of the allotment committee, councillor David Plimbley, said: "The law states that only certain types of animals can be allowed on allotments, such as rabbits and hens. But councils have the power to make their own rules, to a certain point. At some allotments in Silverdale, they even had horses and pigs allowed, although that has since been stopped." Mr Plimbley from Crown Bank, visits the allotments every week to assess the level of noise.

"I live on the road myself and I rarely hear any commotion," added the 36-year-old. "Only if foxes get on the allotments do they start to squeal, but that doesn't happen very often." He believes that after chicks hatched on the plot the young were startled when they were separated from their mother in September. "It's just the natural course of things. They were noisy for a bit, but now they've quietened down. There have been some altercations between tenants about taking dogs on the allotments already, so this isn't the first problem we've had there," said Mr Plimbley. "Of course, it's not the end of the world if they have to go, but they don't do much harm.

"They are well looked after, content little things. Their eggs are lovely as well – I've tried them." Councillor Kyle Robinson, who is to take over as chairman of the allotment committee in 2016, said: "Newcastle Borough Council has been investigating. The last thing I heard, they were looking at installing sound equipment to determine how noisy the ducks really were. I am going to call a meeting as soon as possible to resolve it." Stephen Blaze, committee member for Crown Bank Allotments, added: "The complaint is a bit of a mystery. My plot is closer to the ducks than most houses. I go up to the allotments most days and don't hear the ducks at all."

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