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Residents' new hope in campaign to tackle gulls

PUBLISHED: 10:00 14 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:31 06 July 2010

Victoria Nicholls

Residents from a Beccles neighbourhood who complained of being plagued by a large colony of gulls have been given authority by the landowner to take action.

Residents from a Beccles neighbourhood who complained of being plagued by a large colony of gulls have been given authority by the landowner to take action.

Residents of Fair Close and Gosford Road expressed their anger about the mess and disturbance caused by gulls that have made their home on a nearby derelict factory site.

Phillip Pagea resident who spoke out about being woken up in the early hours by the screeching, and about the mess caused by the gulls, said the neighbours felt powerless to address the problem without knowing who owned the site, which formerly housed the Fibrenyl factory.

But the landowner, Anglia Co-op, has since stepped forward to say it will support the residents.

John Chillcott, chief executive of Anglia Co-op, which owns the land, said he had been aware of the issue in the past after the gulls installed themselves in the roof.

“I knew some while ago that they had a problem so we bulldozed the building flat which left a pile of rubble,” he said. “Then they returned and started nesting in the rubble so then we got rid of it, and now they are nesting on the ground. It's not good.”

He added: “We just picked up the article in the EDP and I phoned Mr Page and asked what he wanted from us. I've basically given him permission to do whatever he needs to do to get this sorted.”

Mr Page, who dubbed the gulls “rats of the sky” and compared the neighbourhood's daily life to scenes from the classic Hitchcock horror film, The Birds, said he and his neighbours were grateful for the support from the company.

“Everyone's very pleased we've been given permission from the landowner to act humanely in ridding the town centre of the gulls,” he said.

“We're looking at our options and we've had numerous letters from different people.”

He said the next step was to contact Natural England to see if action could be taken legally. The public body issues general licences to allow people under certain conditions to take action against wild birds that would otherwise be illegal.

The matter will also be discussed at a Beccles Town Council meeting on September 1.


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