The end for Leamington's controversial pigeon coop

By Kevin Unitt Thursday 13 December 2012 Updated: 14/12 08:00

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A resident of the pigeon coop looks out over Court Street, but will now have to find a new home. (s)

LEAMINGTON'S much-maligned pigeon coop is being removed following concerns it has become a haven for rats.

The £13,500 coop in Court Street was billed as a five-star home for the town's pigeons when it was introduced in early 2007 in a bid to stop the birds plaguing people and buildings in the old town area.

But the luxury des-res, introduced by since defunct regeneration group Regenesis, was initially shunned by the birds in favour of their usual haunts under bridges and on rooftops, and only a controversial operation which saw some birds forcibly netted into the 48-box coop saw some of them make it their home.

But now, nearly six years on, Warwick District Council has announced its plan to remove the coop following concern from local businesses in the area about public health and safety.

District council neighbourhood services chief, coun Dave Shilton, said: “We have listened to complaints from local businesses about rats being seen around the pigeon coop during the day.

“We have taken the decision to remove the coop as the most effective way to control the rat infestation and we have planned this with guidance to ensure we cause minimal disruption to the pigeons.”

People are being encouraged to refrain from putting food down in that area once the pigeon coop has gone, so the rat population can be controlled and removed.

Former town mayor, coun Alan Wilkinson, added: “The pigeon coop was a bold and imaginative experiment that has run its course. It has become unhygienic due to excess food being left by the public and its presence is somewhat discordant with the positive development of south town.”

Warwick District Council has sought advice and assistance from the Pigeon Control Advisory Service to ensure that the removal of the coop is carried out in accordance with their guidelines. Any young birds present will be humanely and safely removed to a wildlife hospital in South London for hand-rearing.

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