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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I ask if the council has any objection to you taking steps with regards XXXXX XXXXX trees and / or rooks and it is just the cost they are concerned with in this repsect please?
It seems that they are only concerned with the cost. For tree removal they would also have to put a public objection notice up for a while
Thanks. Are you in principle prepared to meet any of the cost yourself?
Yes and also some of the neighbours
Thanks. With you permission mayy I revert to you in 30 mins or so as supper is ready and I would like to provide a full response rather than a rushed one now. Would that be alright with you?
No problem, enjoy your meal.
Thank you. I do apologise for the interruption. I am back
The starting point is that rooks like all wild birds are protected by The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is unlawful to harm them without a llicence. However it is permitted for an individual with a licence under the Act to destroy rooks and nests. Accordingly as a practical solution if the councilhave no objections you could consider retaining a pest controller that is licenced to control nuisance birds to destroy the nests and birds as necessary to bring the population under control. You can agree to share costs assosciated with this with your neighbours.
The council does have responsibilities under the Environmental Protection Act to deal with nuisance birds however budgets are stretched at present and councils are having to make decisions about budget priorities and the council are the ones that make a decision about what is and is not a nuisance (though you can appeal their decision) and so notwithstanding an appeal if they do not wish to attend to the matter they need only decide that the issue is not a nuisance in order to avoid responsibility. You could appeall such a decision to the Local Authority Ombudsman if you wished though this would take some time
Regarding removing the trees unless the trees are dangerous there is no legal basis to remove them against the councils wishes unfortunately. You can remove parts that overhang your property however this is the extent of your rights. In order to remove them you would need the councils consent
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
Thankyou, I will look into obtaining permission from the council to getting a pest controller to deal with nuisance birds.
Regarding the trees it seems I will have to wait until the financial situation improves. It could be some time !
This should not be difficult as rooks are recognised as a potential nuisance and the council will be aware of its obligations to deal with them where they constitute a nuisance. If you intimate you will be responsibel for costs, my suspicion will be they will be entirely cooperative as you are in effect offering to pay for a service they probably of you pushed enough would be forced to deal with themselves if the problem is as bad as you suggest.
With regard to the trees, unless you can show they are dangerous there is a limit to what you can do although if again you and your neighbours were prepared to countenance paying for a tree surgeon yourselves you could suggest this as a means by which to control the birds and "sell" it as an offer to the council on this basis. The council may have to consult with regard to the removal of the trees before any permission was received. Of course you may not want to be responsible for tree surgeons costs which could be significant if the trees are large and many and there is no reason you should be so responsible if you do not wish to be of course.
There are many pest controllers that you can consider using that are appropriately licenced. This is one example: http://www.nbcbirdandpest.co.uk
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything
...I can clarify or help you with any further?
Thankyou for your professional assistance. I will try again with both council offices.
If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me
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