Pigeon Pest Pays the Price

Hammersmith resident fined for feeding birds

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An anti-social Hammersmith resident who thought she could ignore her neighbours' pleas to stop attracting large numbers of pigeons to the neighbourhood has been brought into line by Hammersmith and Fulham .

Mrs Wendy Billington of 29 Waterhouse Close persistently fed pigeons on her estate, attracting large numbers to the area. The pesky birds caused mess on communal and private balconies, walkways and landings and created a problem on the estate described by one local resident as "like a scene from The Birds."

Residents complained that they were unable to open their windows in the summer because of the smell caused by the pigeon mess. Concerns were also expressed about diseases associated with pigeon droppings, such as histoplasmosis, cryptoccosis and psittacosis.

While several Hammersmith and Fulham Homes officers tried to deal with Mrs Billington directly, their efforts to address the situation were frustrated.

Mrs Billington either denied causing the problem, or reacted aggressively. The same irrational response was doled out to neighbours, with a number of them also being threatened by members of Mrs Billington's family.

"Enough was enough," said Councillor Greg Smith, cabinet member for crime and anti-social behaviour. "This woman wasn't being fair to her neighbours and wasn't prepared to listen to reason, despite our best efforts.

"We can apply to court to injunct tenants and leaseholders to abide by the terms of their tenancy agreement and leaseholds, and that's exactly what we did on this occasion."

The court agreed an undertaking with Mrs Billington that she would stop feeding the vermin.

The court also recognised that H&F Council had done all they could to stop matters getting to that stage and accordingly on 8 January 2008 they ordered that Mrs Billington pay their costs of £800.


Emma Midgley

February 6, 2008