A ROW has erupted after Hemsworth Town Council banned allotment holders from keeping cockerels following complaints from nearby homes.
The council wrote to tenants on all its allotment sites giving them three months to remove the animals after residents from new houses near Grove Lane Allotments complained about the noise of the crowing in the morning.
The letter explained that the ban was being imposed after the town council took advice from the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners and stated that current legislation only allowed for the keeping of hens and rabbits. The Control of Pollution Act 1974 bans cockerels from being on allotments in urban environments due to the noise nuisance.
But councillors Jim Kenyon and Stan Wilson have objected to their fellow councillors imposing the ban.
Coun Kenyon, who lives on Grove Lane close to the allotments, said: “There has been cockerels on those allotments for more than 100 years. This has come about because of just one complaint from the new houses.
“The people who bought those properties knew they were moving to an area with allotments close by. And the Control of Pollution Act 1974 states that a prohibition of cockerels should not apply to allotment sites in a rural environment and that the person moving there should just accept the noise.”
“The cockerels have never bothered me - you hear them every morning but it is not excessively loud or above the permitted noise levels. The Yorkshire Allotments Federation told me that legislation does not preclude any animals being kept if the council gave permission.”
Coun Tony Upson, chairman of the town council, said: “It will soon be daylight from about 4am and everyone is entitled to an unbroken night’s sleep. It is unlawful to discriminate against an individual just because they are new to our area.
“This town council is required to act on complaints and is unable to defend the keeping of cockerels on our allotment sites as this would be against current legislation.”