Neighbours stage protest over pigeon infested house

Protest at Athelstan Road

Rotting pigeon carcasses and an inch-thick covering of bird faeces at a derelict house are causing a public health hazard, say campaigners.

The property, 36 Athelstan Road in Cliftonville, is partially dilapidated and is subject to an Emergency Prohibition Order. This means the council consider the property to be uninhabitable.

Athelstan Road Tenants & Residents’ Association (ARTRA) say they have asked Thanet council to impose a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO)  in order to refurbish the four storey house in favour of social housing.
Photo Matt Shoul
ARTRA chairman Matt Shoul and neighbours gathered to protest ouside the building on Saturday (July 20). He said: “There’s a social housing precedent on Athelstan Road, as TDC have recently refurbished number 19, making two council flat maisonettes – ARTRA believe a CPO would enable the  council to undertake similar refurbishment of using the funds from the £1.7M social housing account .”
“Refurbishment  would solve the massive pigeon infestation, which ARTRA regards as posing a direct public health risk to neighbours at 38  and blights the entire neighbourhood – where the community’s cars and houses alike are prey to pigeon guano(faeces) – several inches thick in some areas.”
ARTRA say they now may request an independent investigation into the public health risk posed by the pigeon infestation as Thanet council has already stated the building is safe for neighbouring homes.
Mr Shoul added: “Tenants video and images posted on Facebook, showing the interior, taken this week by a local activist, while freeing the 3rd seagull trapped within the building in as many months, show dozens of dead pigeons, seagulls and vermin, in various states of decay, littering the top floor flat.
“The smell of rotting bird carcasses and guano dust from No. 36, effects the tenants of the adjoining and adjacent buildings and ARTRA don’t accept TDC’s assessment of the infestation being harmless.”