Pigeon mess court row

A business man faces going to court because of a row over unsightly pigeon droppings.

Cornelius Curtin says he is embarrassed that customers entering Allens Music Centre in Great Yarmouth have to step over a splattering of pigeon mess by his door step.

Mr Curtin, who owns the organ and piano showroom at the Market Gates Shopping Centre, claims that for the last year Yarmouth Borough Council has failed to regularly clear up the white droppings.

The pigeon mess comes from birds roosting on metal conduits above Allens.

Because of the mess piling up outside his music showroom Mr Curtin says he will not pay a �169 business improvement district levy to the council.

And Mr Curtin hopes he is taken to court by the council for not paying the levy as it will highlight his pigeon mess plight and may force action to be taken.

Mr Curtin's pigeon problems are part of a long running battle in the town to try and stop pesky birds leaving unwanted deposits on streets and unlucky pedestrians.

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Mr Curtin, who is the second generation of his family to run Allens, said: 'I have customers from all over the country and the world coming here and it is embarrassing to see what greets them.

'The problem has been going on for a year and it has gone beyond the pale now.

'I see I have only two choices now. I could purchase a jet washer and clean up the mess myself.

But that is the council's job - not mine and why should I pay for it?

'Or I could decide not to pay my business improvement district levy as a form of protest and that is the option I will be choosing.

'I am not getting value for money from the council and if I have to go to court to show that then so be it.'

Regular customers David and Molly Newman travel up from their Little Plumstead home to buy organ music from Allens.

The couple also pointed out there was pigeon mess on parts on the Market Gates bus station.

Mr Newman said: 'You can not ignore the mess. I think it a disgrace.'

To help alleviate the problem the Market Gates Shopping Centre will be installing anti-pigeon measures, such as spikes and netting, over Allens next weekend.

Five years ago Bonny, a 20-year-old Harris hawk, was called in to scare off pigeons which congregated at the Market Gates Shopping Centre and chase off nuisance sea gulls.

And because of persistent bird mess a new �50,000 dropping resistant canopy was put over the Market Place last year.

Yarmouth Borough Council was unavailable for a comment by the time this article was published to the Evening News website.

Do you think more should be done to rid streets of pigeon mess or support Mr Curtin's wrangle with the council?

Call reporter Anthony Carroll on 01493 847955 or email anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk