Feathers continue to fly in town hall row over guinea fowl

Smallholders Maurice and Phyllis Dainty
Smallholders Maurice and Phyllis Dainty
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Two pensioners have been summoned to appear before Wyre Council officers under 
caution – over the noise their guinea fowl make.

A letter demanding Maurice and Phyllis Dainty attend Wyre Council’s Civic Centre offices in Poulton is the latest twist in a saga which started when their neighbour complained the guinea fowl they have kept on their smallholding for 15 years were just too noisy.

Now family friend and planning agent Mel Lawrenson has intervened to ask can the meeting take place at the Dainty’s Scorton home.

She said: “Mr and Mrs Dainty are virtually housebound andcannot attend a meeting at the council offices.

“They are elderly and infirm and this news has upset them greatly.”

Last year Maurice and Phyllis Dainty, aged 69 and 71, had been served with a statutory noise nuisance notice... then things went “quiet”.

They were given 21 days to make arrangements to remove or relocate their 34 guinea fowl from their home at Cross Hill Smithy, Oakenclough Road, Scorton, or face a possible fine of up to £5,000, following complaints from their neighbours.

But this week things took a new turn – with a call for the couple to attend Wyre Council’s HQ.

Wyre Council confirmed it has asked to see the couple “under caution”.

A spokeswoman said: “The council is currently investigating a case of noise nuisance and it would not be appropriate to comment further.

“Asking to talk to them under caution is part of the investigation process and means the interview will be recorded. It is standard practice.”

Mr Dainty said the council sent him a letter saying that since the abatement notice was served it had received “continuous complaints” and was therefore inviting them both to attend the civic centre, ‘for a general discussion about the complaint’.

It states, ‘for your benefit the interview will be taped and carried out under caution.’

Mr Dainty said: “I have offered for them to put a noise meter in our house and one in the neighbour) and never heard anything.

“We thought it had gone away. I’ve never had owt to do with the police but I thought if you got cautioned with the police you got arrested. If they want to talk to me about this they’ve to come here.”

He added as a couple they had kept guinea fowl continuously for 50 years and three previous neighbours at their present home had raised no complaints about their fowl.

“It just seems ridiculous, surely a council should have better things to do than mess about with this,” he added.

Planning agent and friend Mel Lawrenson has written to the council asking for the meeting to be relocated to their home but as of yesterday morning had received no news about the meeting.

Wyre Council had initially replied saying: “We certainly do not want to cause Mr and Mrs Dainty any distress, but as you say we have a statutory duty to investigate all complaints.

“The point of the interview is to listen to Mr and Mrs Dainty’s point of view, but also to discuss with them our concerns as a council, due to the fact we have already served a statutory noise nuisance notice, which remains in force.”

The Courier was unable to contact the Daintys’ neighbours.