POOING pigeons who have set up home at a block of flats are causing mental and physical health problems for its residents, it has been claimed.

Residents of Nancy Smith Close, Colchester, say their nightmares started when pigeons started nesting inside the roof of the building in January last year.

One resident, who didn’t wish to be named, claims the birds are affecting their mental and physical health and stopping them from enjoying their garden.

They said: “I’ve lived here for 13 years and I’ve never had any problems until last year and it just went really bad.

“I can only use a little bit of the garden but not all of it. I have to brush the path clean of bird poo at least four or five times a day.

“I have to put a hat on as soon as I open the back door in case poo lands on my head. I just want to go outside without having to brush my path four times a day. It is a health hazard.”

Gazette: Homes - Nancy Smith Close in ColchesterHomes - Nancy Smith Close in Colchester (Image: Google)


The upset resident claims to have reported the issue to Colchester Borough Homes but has not received any support to fix the issue.

Berechurch councillors Dave Harris and Chris Pearson have visited the affected homes and are pushing housing bosses to act.

Gazette: Action - Berechurch councillor Dave HarrisAction - Berechurch councillor Dave Harris (Image: Steve Brading)

Mr Harris believes the issue started after the birds made their way through netting put up around solar panels on the building’s roof.

“The pigeons are now nesting underneath the solar panels inside the netting,” he said.

“There must be somebody in the area feeding them because pigeons usually go to where there is food.

“I don’t wish them any harm but I’m hoping Colchester Borough Homes will do something to deter them.”


Bosses at Colchester Borough Homes (CBH) have now responded.

A spokesman said: “We understand the inconvenience and frustration the pigeon nesting issue at Nancy Smith Close is causing, particularly for residents who are unable to enjoy their gardens.

“We apologise that the previously installed pigeon netting appears to be ineffective due to a gap identified near the solar panels. We want to assure you that we are actively addressing this issue and are committed to finding a long-term solution.

“Following a meeting on-site with Councillor Harris and a concerned resident, we identified that birds were able to dip between the netting and the roof tile profile.

“For this reason, installation of this type of netting has ceased. We are currently investigating and trialling improved alternative solutions. One product has already been tested, and another trial is imminent.

“We are committed to ensuring that any chosen alternative will deter pigeons from nesting beneath the solar panels and provide a durable deterrent.

“The concerned resident has been kept updated throughout this process and will continue to receive information on our progress.

“We understand the concerns raised about the potential health impact of pigeon droppings and appreciate the frustration of residents not being able to use their gardens due to the pigeon droppings. Following the implementation of the improved solution, we hope to see a significant improvement.

“It is important to note that PV edge protection, while intended to stop birds getting under the solar panels, cannot stop them from landing on, above, or around the array, potentially causing mess. Birds naturally position themselves on the sunnier/warmer side of the roof and at height, away from predators, which often coincides with the location of the solar panels.

“Essex Wildlife Trust has highlighted in recent reports for CBH that an increase in bird numbers and droppings is often associated with an abundance of food sources, and commonly occurs where birds are being fed.

“We are working within the legal framework set out in Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), which protects all wild birds, their nests, eggs, and young from harm. This restricts the methods we can employ for deterring birds.

“For this reason, proper gutter alignment is a crucial aspect of the process. It aids in the effective capture and removal of roof debris, thereby minimising potential nesting materials and food sources for birds. This strategy is also advocated by the Essex Wildlife Trust, who emphasise the importance of regular upkeep of rainwater systems.

“We are working diligently to determine the most effective solution as soon as possible. If an alternative product proves successful in trials, we will replace the netting at Nancy Smith Close.”