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Owners of crowing cockerels and a noisy dog both fined for failing to deal with noise disturbance issues

The owner of several cockerels who crowed daily from 4am has been fined after failing to stop the birds from disturbing residents living nearby.

March 6th, 2020

Malcolm Hughes, from Nantymoel, was ordered by magistrates to pay a total of £1,210 after pleading guilty to breaching an abatement notice. Mr Hughes of Oakfield Terrace was first served with the noise abatement notice in May 2019 following a long-standing complaint from nearby residents.

CockerelBut the complaints continued and when enforcement officers visited to undertake a noise survey in July, the cockerels crowed every few seconds between 4.40am and 5.10am. A further visit by officers in October saw the cockerels crow 13 times between 6.15am and 6.20am – and a further 104 times between 6.45am and 7.20am with each crow lasting a few seconds.

Mr Hughes, 60, pleaded guilty on February 27 at Cardiff Magistrates Court to breaching the noise abatement notice and was fined £600 by magistrates, and ordered to pay £300 legal costs, £250 investigation costs and a £60 victim’s surcharge. 

In a different case heard on the same day at Cardiff Magistrates Court, a dog owner from Bryncethin was ordered to pay more than £2,700 after breaching a noise abatement notice issued as a result of his dog barking excessively. Mark Scallan of Bakers Way, was found guilty in his absence after failing to attend the hearing.

An abatement notice was first served under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in July 2019 after the dog was heard barking for prolonged periods, mainly during the day. But complaints continued and when officers were called out to witness the noise, they recorded “almost continuous” barking over a 20-minute period in the early evening on one occasion and a total of 565 barks over a 30-minute period on another occasion at around 11am.

Officers from the Shared Regulatory Services said Mr Scallan was prosecuted after he failed to comply with the abatement notice on two separate occasions and failed to attend an interview under caution. He was fined £1,760 by magistrates and ordered to pay £350 legal costs, £450 investigation costs and £176 victims surcharge. 

Councillor Dhanisha Patel, the Bridgend County Borough Council cabinet member whose portfolio includes Shared Regulatory Services, said: “In both these cases, the noise was clearly audible and intrusive in the complainant’s properties.

“The owners were given every opportunity to resolve these matters with officers first who tried to resolve the complaint informally, however, both owners failed to take appropriate action to prevent further disturbance and the complaints continued.

“The local authority has a duty to serve an abatement notice if the noise disturbance is deemed to be causing a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. If the notice is not complied with, owners face being prosecuted where unlimited fines can be imposed upon summary conviction.”