Neighbours in living nightmare as crowing cockerels cause misery from dusk till dawn

Lorraine Burgeen and husband Alexander were up before Blackpool Magistrates Court after their neighbours complained about a living nightmare in their otherwise quiet Blackpool street HL: Magistrate tells pair ‘sort it out’ as crowing cockerels cause misery for neighbours

A rooster
Cockerels like to crow (posed by model)

A couple whose cockerels “caused misery” to their neighbours by crowing “from dusk til dawn” have been ordered to find them a new home.

Lorraine Burgeen, 58, and husband Alexander, 69, whose four roosters made a “horrendous noise”, left neighbours feeling like they were living a “nightmare”.

The residents of the couple’s ‘quiet’ street in Blackpool, Lancs, said they’d asked them “politely” to remove the birds three years ago but had been met with “aggression”.

Since then, they’d been raising more complaints, with one local saying they couldn’t even open a window due to the cocks’ “horrendous noise”.

Speaking about the birds, a neighbour said: “It has been a nightmare. You can’t sit in your garden, you can’t open your window.

“It has been a horrendous noise, and they just don’t seem to care.”

Quebec Avenue in Blackpool

After pleading guilty to noise abatement offences at Blackpool Magistrates Court, the couple have now been ordered to find the birds alternative accommodation.

The court heard neighbours began to raise formal objections in 2018, after they’d tried to find a diplomatic way to get the birds removed.

A neighbour said: “The cockerels wake us up at 5am, and they crow all day until dusk.”

As well as complaining about the noise, residents also reported infestations of rats, attracted by the food in the cockerels’ coop.

Another neighbour said: “We have had Environmental Health out a number of times. One elderly neighbour had to pay for poison to be put down. It’s a ridiculous situation.

“I have been working from home during the pandemic, and it has been extremely distracting. The decibels are that loud, it’s unbelievable.”

One resident approached ward counsellor Rick Scott, who helped arrange for Blackpool Council to install sound monitoring equipment nearby, revealing the extent of the noise.

He said: “Cockerels crow at unsociable hours, and it has been going on for a while. It has been horrendous for the neighbours.

“There have been rats; Environmental Health have had to come down, and pest control, to deal with the problem.

“But the coop is still there and so the rats keep coming, and then they have the problem of dead rats to deal with.

“If you buy a house near a farm, you expect it. But not in a residential area of Blackpool. It’s not the sort of thing you expect.”

Sentencing the Burgeens to year-long conditional discharges, and ordering them to pay £122 costs each, Blackpool Magistrates Court chairman Simon Bridge told them: “You must sort this out now. This is a warning.”

Speaking in court, Mrs Burgeen said: “The cockerels are my pets. They were from a rescue centre.

“We have done everything we can to keep the noise down.

“We have been trying to get them a new home right up to now. We face having to get a vet to put them down.”

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