Leeds birdman’s pigeon passion gets his neighbours in a flap

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NEIGHBOUR spats can often ruffle a few feathers - but this one’s caused more of a flap than usual!

People living in a corner of North Leeds are fuming after a pigeon-fancying neighbour built several large bird lofts without prior planning permission.

Leeds council planning bosses have now granted retrospective permission for the three outbuildings at the house off Scott Wood Lane.

But nearby householders say not only has their neighbour got away with flouting planning law, his birds are also causing a constant nuisance.

One couple complained that they have to wash the same load of laundry THREE times because of the mess the birds leave on their linens.

The area seems to be a bit of a pigeon-rearing and racing hotspot, with another long-term hobbyist also thought to live nearby.

Homeowner Maureen Smart said: “They are flying into my garden all the time. You cannot put your washing out.”

She said another major problem was cars getting stuck on the unadopted road leading to the row of cottages, and blocking access.

“We paid for the road and they ruined it,” she said, claiming that groups of pigeon-fanciers often descend on the quiet neighbourhood, and it is more a “club” HQ than one individual’s pigeon passion.

Another neighbour Kevin Riley said: “It’s not very nice. My wife has to do the washing three times over. There are hundreds of these birds flying about several times a day and I think it will get worse.”

Mark Harding, who owns the pigeons, told the YEP the birds only go out once in the morning and once in the evening for an hour each time.

He said he has a maximum of 100 birds, and the only other time they come out is when he takes them away on races, outside of Leeds. His birds race as far as France and 80 per cent come back, he said.

“I have been racing pigeons since I was a kid,” he said.

“But even before I got this plot, there have been pigeons racing here for over 30 years.”

He said the real row had been over the access road and it had “just escalated”, but the matter was now resolved as far as he is concerned.

“We have to live together. It’s time to put it behind us,” he said.

Date: 11th November 2017. 'Picture James Hardisty. The 'Leeds Grand Quarte in New briggate. Pictured The Howard Assembly Room at Opera North.

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