PIGEONS face eviction from a favourite roost as Knutsford Town Council seeks to tackle a major fouling problem on an historic town centre building.
The council is seeking approval to install netting and spikes on the Grade Two listed building at 60 King Street, which is home to the Belle Epoque restaurant.
A survey by Rentokil said feral pigeons were roosting on ledges, pipework, open windows, tower ledges and rooftops.
It found evidence of pigeons in the window, roof top, couch and tower areas, on the side of the building and roosting inside a window, and fouling across the front of the building and the pavement.
As a result there had been a build-up of pigeon droppings on the roosting areas and the areas below.
The company warned the level of fouling was a potential slip hazard for staff and visitors, and the droppings were also a potential health hazard as they contained bacteria and insects harmful to people.
Such insects could spread to the inside of the building if not appropriately treated, said the company.
The plan is to install netting to the windows on the tower, building and side building, and bird points, which are blunted to avoid harming the pigeons, on ledges and pipework.
The cost of the netting, bird point system and clearance of the current bird fouling would be almost £6,000.
The fouling problem was referred to by Belle Epoque owner Matthew Mooney alongside his complaint to the town council in relation to the repairs and maintenance of the exterior of 60 King Street.
In an article in the Guardian Mr Mooney said he had asked the town council for several years to clean the passageway at the side of 60 King Street of pigeon droppings.
In response to Mr Mooney’s complaint the council said it disputed that it had responsibility to clean the exterior of the building of pigeon mess.
However it had put in place plans to minimise pigeon roosting on the building, which required listed building consent, about which the council’s agent had been in discussions with the Conservation Officer.
The council has now submitted an application to Cheshire East Council for listed building consent to install bird netting and bird points to the former Kings coffee house and Gaskell Memorial Tower which form the Grade Two listed building at 60 King Street.
“Knutsford Town Council, as owners of 60 King Street, has a duty of care to maintain and repair the building due to its listed status,” said a report by Fisher German accompanying the application.
The report said the proposed work was needed to solve the bird pest issues and keep the property in good repair and condition, and the work would take four days.
“The impact upon the historic and architectural significance of the site will be minimal,” said the report.
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