MP called in to help in Lowestoft street’s fight against seagulls

Families in a Lowestoft street have become so overwhelmed by seagulls that they have called in their MP to help.

Residents in Waveney Drive have struggled against a flock of seagulls for almost 10 years, but now they say it is worse than ever.

Angela Newsome, 59, says the problems have increased since the Jeld-Wen timber factory shut.

'The building went empty in June and we noticed then that they were not only on the rooftops but in the sheds as well,' she said.

'At least the activity kept them away from the ground level. Now nobody is there, they are all over the place. We are just so fed up with it. I have lived here 20 years and when I came here there were no problems at all. None whatsoever.'

Jeld-Wen had tried to tackle the problem when it used hawks and an eagle owl in 2007 and 2008, but the situation did not significantly improve.

Mrs Newsome and her neighbours have also tried previously to get other help for the problem, even appearing live on national radio.

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Mrs Newsome has received hate mail about the birds, but says that the problem is so bad that during the summer she is unable to open her windows for the mess and noise.

Now the neighbours have turned to Waveney MP Peter Aldous for help, and are due to meet him tomorrow.

Mr Aldous has signed an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons which noted the problems of urban seagulls in at least 150 constituencies and pledged to find a humane solution to the problems.

Beccles has also previously struggled with seagull problems, but people in Fair Close and Gosford Road now see far fewer.

The town council helped fund a bird of prey last year, while the residents tried to prevent the gulls landing on the derelict Anglia Co-Op site with string. In the end the neighbours applied for a licence from Natural England to destroy the nests.

Phillip Page, who was one of those involved, says they now see far less, but he thought this solution might not be so easy if the seagulls are nesting on rooftops.

'If you can stop them nesting you will cure the problem but it is difficult for those people who live in Lowestoft because they can't get access to the nest,' he said. 'I do sympathise.'