Teenaged pigeon-racer in tears after Gravesham Council bird shed ruling

Teenaged pigeon-racer in tears after Gravesham Council bird shed ruling

Reece Stone, 13, has more than 70 pigeons

He got into pigeon racing around four years ago

He is currently forced to keep the birds in baskets because the council told him the shed was not allowed

Father Keith Stone is concerned about the conditions the birds are currrently living in

Gravesham Council has told him he cannot keep all the birds

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A 13-YEAR-OLD pigeon enthusiast was reduced to tears after Gravesham Council told him he must tear down his bird shed.

Reece Stone, of Bourne Road, Gravesend, has learning difficulties but became passionate about pigeons four years ago, a hobby which has also helped boost his grades at school.

However the heartbroken teenager has been forced to keep his birds in baskets after the council said his family didn’t have permission for the 24-foot garden shed they built last December.

Dad Keith Stone, 51, told News Shopper: "He doesn’t know what to do with himself.

"The boy was crying on the day we were told we had to take this shed down - other people nearby don’t have permission for theirs.

"Reece has trouble with reading, writing and counting.

"But looking after these 70 or so birds helps him with all those things.

"He said,’ I don’t know what to do with the pigeons. I’ll have to kill them if they won’t let me keep them.’

News Shopper: Thirteen-year-old pigeon racer told he has to get rid of birds by Gravesham Council

"I said, ‘if they won’t let you keep them then we’ll set them out in the Civic Centre and then they can sort it out.’ I’ll probably end up going to prison for it."

Mr Stone has been amazed at the dedication his son has shown to the birds.

He said: "He gets up at six o’clock and takes them out and cleans them.

"Now the conditions they’re in, in these baskets, it’s not fair. You wouldn’t treat a dog like that."
The father-of-four is anxious about his son’s emotional state.

He said: "Reece used to not talk to anyone. He would shrug his shoulders and not engage with people but it’s really bought him out of himself.

"His school has even written letters to the council saying how his work is suffering because of the situation.

"He’s been a member of different pigeon racing clubs and it helps him to get to know other people."

News Shopper: Thirteen-year-old pigeon racer told he has to get rid of birds by Gravesham Council

A Gravesham Council spokesman said: "The tenant had no permission to build a structure to house pigeons at either council property where they have been tenants.

"After receiving several complaints after the construction of the latest large outbuilding, the council advised the tenant that they were in breach of their tenancy.

"Keeping up to 12 pigeons is allowed under the tenancy provided they are kept in a purpose-built loft and provided permission is granted.

"The tenant has been told that they must remove the outbuilding by January 14 or face legal proceedings.

"The council has sympathy for the tenant but has to bear in mind the number of animals proposed to be kept and that effect of others."

Comments (8)

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4:51pm Tue 14 Jan 14

white rabbit9 says...

You are not allowed to have a hobby except working for the system.
You are not allowed to have a hobby except working for the system. white rabbit9
  • Score: -20

5:07pm Tue 14 Jan 14

The Fozziest of Bears says...

The council need that shed space to house Roma migrants.
The council need that shed space to house Roma migrants. The Fozziest of Bears
  • Score: 21

7:49pm Tue 14 Jan 14

madras says...

'"Keeping up to 12 pigeons is allowed under the tenancy provided they are kept in a purpose-built loft and provided permission is granted.'

There's your answer then - don't need a 24 foot shed and 70 birds...
'"Keeping up to 12 pigeons is allowed under the tenancy provided they are kept in a purpose-built loft and provided permission is granted.' There's your answer then - don't need a 24 foot shed and 70 birds... madras
  • Score: -2

9:12pm Tue 14 Jan 14

HearTheFacts says...

Just say It's the boys religion, to have these birds!.

Or better still let them out in the council offices, then see all the office claps having a meeting with the pigeons. That would be a sight to see!.

But the fact is, It's better to find out the rules first. However if the pigeon loft can be removed. Then put back, it may not require planning permission. There's always loop hole, it's just finding it.
Just say It's the boys religion, to have these birds!. Or better still let them out in the council offices, then see all the office claps having a meeting with the pigeons. That would be a sight to see!. But the fact is, It's better to find out the rules first. However if the pigeon loft can be removed. Then put back, it may not require planning permission. There's always loop hole, it's just finding it. HearTheFacts
  • Score: 19

8:30am Wed 15 Jan 14

PurpleMan says...

Their current condition is appalling!! Let them have the shed, it's not harming anyone, and there have been no complaints about it.
Their current condition is appalling!! Let them have the shed, it's not harming anyone, and there have been no complaints about it. PurpleMan
  • Score: 10

9:39am Wed 15 Jan 14

PaulErith says...

white rabbit9 wrote:
You are not allowed to have a hobby except working for the system.
Maybe the pigeons are secretly working for the banks?
[quote][p][bold]white rabbit9[/bold] wrote: You are not allowed to have a hobby except working for the system.[/p][/quote]Maybe the pigeons are secretly working for the banks? PaulErith
  • Score: 26

10:42am Wed 15 Jan 14

the wall says...

Build two smaller sheds.
Build two smaller sheds. the wall
  • Score: -6

3:57pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Gypo.Joe says...

PaulErith wrote:
white rabbit9 wrote:
You are not allowed to have a hobby except working for the system.
Maybe the pigeons are secretly working for the banks?
Of course they are, who did you think is carrying the top secret messages and pin numbers.

Shhhhhhhhhhh, this message will self destruct in 60 seconds.
[quote][p][bold]PaulErith[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]white rabbit9[/bold] wrote: You are not allowed to have a hobby except working for the system.[/p][/quote]Maybe the pigeons are secretly working for the banks?[/p][/quote]Of course they are, who did you think is carrying the top secret messages and pin numbers. Shhhhhhhhhhh, this message will self destruct in 60 seconds. Gypo.Joe
  • Score: 15

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