Thursday, 14 July 2011

Chickens! (or should people in rural areas have to live with rural noises)

This morning we spent two hours discussing whether people who live in rural areas should be able to complain about the noise of farm animals including chickens.

The debate stemmed from a 1050 name petition submitted in support of a resident of Probus who has been served with a noise abatement notice because of the noises made by his cockerels and chickens. The officers explained that they had to follow particular guidelines and felt they had to issue a noise abatement notice in this case. I accept that our officers have to follow policy but feel that the policy is wrong.

I argued that people who live in rural areas should expect to have to put up with reasonable amounts of animal noise and that the sort of noises they should expect to live with are different from those of us who live in urban areas. You cannot move to a farming area and expect to be able to change the character of that area by shutting down the noises.

But what is a reasonable level of noise? I have asked for a policy to be developed which recognises the difference between what is reasonable in urban and rural areas. I suggested that local parish and town councils be consulted on this as well as all Cornwall Council members. This was supported by the majority of the committee and so a new policy will be developed.

Unfortunately, the Cabinet Support Member for Community Safety wasn't at the meeting to reply to the debate or give us his views on the policy but I hope that he will take on board what we said.

1 comment:

Liberal Neil said...

You are quite right, except that the same problem can occur in towns too.

One of the joys of living in historic Abingdon near to the Parish Church is the sound of the church bells, rung by an enthusiastic and talented group of ringers.

Unfortunately, a few years ago, someone moved in to a house across the road from said church, and proceeded to complain to the district council about the noise levels.

Sadly the council officials had to comply with the regulations and the church had to raise thousands to baffle the sound, much to the annoyance of hundreds of local resdients who see it as one of the bonuses of living nearby.

To add insult to injury, the guy moved away soon after winning the case.

There ought to be some kind of 'reasonableness' defence.