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Squawking parrots forced from outdoor cage into £700,000 home after ‘causing neighbours sleepless nights’

Sandra Gauld with Charlie.
Sandra Gauld with Charlie.

A pair of South American parrots have been ordered to move into a £700,000 art deco villa after a court ruled their noisy squawking had shattered the peace of an exclusive Scottish neighbourhood.

Amazon parrots Charlie and Bella have been forced indoors after a JP ruled against their owner in a bizarre dispute between neighbours backing on to a top golf course.

Retired farmer Iain Gauld has been told the colourful birds can no longer be kept in a cage in his garden and must be moved inside to his home in Blairgowrie.

Parrots caused neighbours sleepless nights

Justice of the Peace Geoffrey Daniel granted an Annoying Creatures application after hearing how the birds had caused their neighbours distress and sleepless nights.

Mr Daniel said: “I have listened carefully to the witnesses and evidence in this case. I have found the complainer, Mr Watson, and his witnesses to be credible and reliable and preferred them to Mr Gauld and his witnesses.

“The complainer’s evidence referred to screaming and squawking throughout an extended period. It is clear, as a consequence, that Mr Watson and some of his neighbours are not able to fully enjoy life at their properties in the summer months.

“I have been asked to decide whether they are too noisy to stay outside and I find that they are. I am making an order to keep the macaw parrots permanently inside the house at Lincroft.

Owner could face police action if parrots are kept outside

“The respondent is not permitted to house them in an outdoor aviary on the property as before,” he told Perth’s JP court. Mr Gauld was warned that he could face police action if he failed to follow the ruling.

Engineering consultant John Watson had launched the “Annoying Creatures” legal action over claims the breeding pair of birds had disturbed neighbours in prestigious Golf Course Road in Blairgowrie, Perthshire.

In the application, under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 section 49, Mr Watson stated: “The respondent keeps large parrots in an outside cage. The parrots screech and squawk very, very loudly at random times of the day, EVERY day from 5 am to 10 pm.

“It is very distressing to us, being nearest, and all other surrounding households.”

In court, he said: “I am happy for him to keep his birds – provided they are indoors for 12 months a year.”

‘Noise like a helicopter’

His solicitor, Jamie Baxter, said: “They are the third loudest type of macaw, at just over 100 decibels. That sort of level is equivalent to a large lawnmower, a jackhammer, or a jet at 1,000 feet, or helicopter at 100 feet.”

But Karen Adam of the Scottish Parrot Trust, giving defence evidence, said: “I don’t know if I can accept all of that. That is definitely not my experience.

“I don’t think I could live in a house with jackhammers or helicopters. I have 15 large birds of my own. I have never had complaints. My neighbours really like the birds.

“We live in North Lanarkshire and they say it’s quite nice to hear something exotic because there’s nothing much exotic about North Lanarkshire.”

Concerns over parrots’ health

Vet Rebecca Cole warned: “If they are indoors all the time they can show low calcium levels and a lack of vitamin D.”

Mr Watson’s wife Liz said: “They moved in last year. There was no problem through the winter because they must have been kept in the house, but it was in the spring when the noises started.

“They do screech intermittently. John is easy going but he is really upset and has dug his heels in. We have learned a lot about them. They are beautiful creatures.

“But there have been disturbances throughout the day. The noise would give you a jolt when you hear it. They make a noise when you get out of the car.

“I don’t like confrontation, especially not with neighbours,” she said, adding that in a face-to-face clash with Mr Gauld, he told her: “If it’s war you want, you’ll get it.”

Mr Gauld said: “With these parrots it is like outbursts and they are related to daylight hours. I am not saying the parrots are not making a noise but it is in short outbursts and then they stop. I feel this is one-sided.”

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