Pigeon poo causing health hazard according to supermarket

Lidle in St Neots

Lidle in St Neots - Credit: Archant

Pigeon poo is causing a health hazard for people living near a St Neots supermarket.

Lidl has lost a bid to cut down or trim six horse chestnut trees on the border of its branch in Cambridge Street which it said was causing a nuisance to neighbours living nearby.

The discount retailer had applied to Huntingdonshire District Council for permission to carry out work on the trees.

But the move was thrown out by officials at the council who said cutting the trees down would harm the “treed” landscape in the area of the shop, which is adjacent to a residential area just outside the town centre.

The council said that trimming the trees, which are the subject of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), would cause damage to their health and would also have an adverse impact on their appearance.

Lidl had asked the council for permission to reduce the scale of the horse chestnuts, which run along its western boundary, by 30 per cent or have them cut down completely.

The firm said in its application that the trees were overhanging neighbours’ properties, causing a loss of light and droppings from pigeons sitting in them were causing a potential health hazard with their droppings.

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In its ruling against the work being carried out the council said its decision, made under the tree regulation section of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, had been made because the proposed work would cause harm to the protected trees and to the local environment, giving three reasons for dismissing the application.

The council said: “The removal of the tree group would erode the treed character of the townscape and the surrounding conservation area.”

In the stated second reason, it added: “The proposed reduction of the trees would have a negative impact on their health, condition and likely induce physiological decline and erode their wider public visual amenity value.”

The council said the third reason was the works were not considered to be "fully justified" and did not follow current guidance.

Lidl operates two stores in St Neots, the long-serving outlet in Cambridge Street, and the more recently-built shop in Eaton Socon which is on the edge of an industrial estate.