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.
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.”
Well done residents showing up the incompetence of council, people not pigeons should be inside the building,, leaving buildings empty in a area where there is a housing crisis is criminal
Why a CPO, costs time and money. CONFISCATE the Property, hold the Landlord to ransom of £1,000,000.00, and give him 3 Months to convert the building into modern usable apartments. If he does not abide, let TDC do the work.
TDC have just announced that they may set up their own building firm to try to answer the chronic shortage of local housing. This house could be a test case to see if they really mean it. They could compulsory -purchase it and then convert to flats. Either sell the flats or rent them out.But will they?
Or are they still trapped in the ideology that says that somebody owns this heap of guano and ,so, it should not be taken over by a democratically-selected Council to benefit the population as a whole. Will the Rights of a few landlords take precedence over the need for decent housing for hundreds of local residents?
It does not require a CPO. TDC can contact the owner, require them to carry out work under the relevant public health legislation by a certain time and if the owner fails to do so, enter the property do the work and enter a charge on the registration details of the house.They can charge interest and therefore if the owner tries to sell the property, the debt will have to be paid out of the proceeds.
It is a public health issue and should have had enforcement action. The neighbours can also sue on the grounds of nuisance.
The council will do the absolute minimum, look at the state of Julian Court in Edgar Road, the blatant drug dealing and antisocial behaviour in St, Johns road, both ongoing issues for years, all you’ll get is endless excuses.
But what do you expect from a council that is a part owner of East Kent Housing , given its many serious failings in respect of gas and fire safety.
The council already has a scheme in which poor buildings are purchased and renovated, i believe athelstan road has already benefitted from it.