Parrot problem

A COUPLE who share their home with 25 parrots have vowed to stay put with all the birds – even if a local authority takes action against them over planning regulations. Julie and John Hamilton have set up the New Life Parrot Rescue and Helpline Service at

A COUPLE who share their home with 25 parrots have vowed to stay put with all the birds - even if a local authority takes action against them over planning regulations.

Julie and John Hamilton have set up the New Life Parrot Rescue and Helpline Service at their home in Eynesbury. They have 20 rescued birds and five parrots of their own.

The parrots are kept in the house and also in two aviaries in the garden.

However, Huntingdonshire District Council has warned the couple they need planning permission for "change of use" to turn a residential home into a bird sanctuary.

Mrs Hamilton, 48, denies that the home is a sanctuary but admits the aviaries do contain rescued macaws and African grey parrots who she says need careful monitoring and dedicated, specialised care.

While the council says the couple must apply for planning permission, Mrs Hamilton claims she has been advised by a planning officer that they would be unlikely to get it.

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Mrs Hamilton said: "If the council gets its way, these long-lived birds will have nowhere else to go.

"We are trying to relocate to somewhere more suitable but it is difficult. We have written to the council to ask for help in finding somewhere but have received no reply."

She added: "We would not have a problem if we confined our birds to small cages but this would not only be cruel, but would contravene animal welfare legislation."

A spokesman for Huntingdonshire District Council said the Hamilton's home was visited in 2004. The couple had been allowed time to relocate. The authority was considering issuing an enforcement notice.

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