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Neighbours 'suffer noisy cockerels'
Neighbours of a farm site had to live with the loud crowing and calling from three cockerels and numerous ducks for a 20-month period despite the landowner being served with two noise abatement orders, a court has heard.
Helen Rogers is accused of three offences of failing to comply with a noise abatement order served on St Peter's Farm in Church Lane, Hambledon, Hampshire, by Winchester City Council (WCC) in November last year.
Sharon Evans, prosecuting, told Portsmouth Magistrates' Court that complaints about the 1.6-acre semi-rural site, which has no planning permission for residential use, were first received in March 2012 and, after investigations by the council, a noise abatement notice was served on the 57-year-old landowner.
This initial order was against a single cockerel but further inquiries found that "multiple" birds were involved and a replacement order was issued specifying that several birds were causing the problem for the neighbours.
Miss Evans said: "It became apparent from this monitoring exercise there was clearly a cockerel crowing on the site and there were numerous noisy birds living on the property adding to the crowing and calling at the site."
David Ingram, head of environmental health at WCC, said noise monitoring was carried out at the site following complaints being received from neighbours to the farm.
He said: "There was constant crowing from multiple birds on the site."
He added: "The defendants were of the opinion that the birds were not causing a problem. They did initially suggest they would take steps to try to quieten the birds down; however, as a result of our subsequent investigations, evidence was gathered which we believe put them in breach of the abatement notice on three separate occasions."
Mr Ingram said the steps proposed by Rogers and her son, Jamie Rogers, were to keep the birds in a box with a blanket on it to keep it dark and to only remove this after 7am.
He said there appeared to be a miniature Romany-style caravan on the site which was being used as a chicken coop.
Mr Ingram added: "We have never said a bird crowing is going to constitute a statutory noise nuisance, we have maintained all along it's the amount of crowing and calling from the birds - there were at least three crowing cockerels on the site - and there were in addition to that a number of ducks introduced on to the site after we approached the Rogers about the cockerel issues."