ALLOTMENT holders in Darwen have sent a petition to the council over an order to remove ‘unauthorised animals’ from their plots.

Following complaints from residents, the council ordered that some animals, including cockerels, be removed from the Tockholes Road Garden Area, between Tockholes Road and Harwood Street.

A petition signed by tenants from 11 of the 48 plots has been submitted to the council and will be discussed by Blackburn with Darwen Council’s executive board on Thursday.

A council report said: “At Tockholes Road Garden site, the council has had complaints regarding noise, infestations of vermin and smell.

“As a result of these complaints, a letter was sent to remind tenants of their tenancy agreement clauses and ask, if anyone did have any unauthorised animals, could they be removed.

“The intent was not to cause upset or distress but a request for tenants to follow the terms of the tenancy agreement which they signed up to and effectively manage the plots for the benefit of all.”

The report also said that clarification was needed over what an ‘unauthorised animal’ was.

It said: “This will reduce uncertainty on the part of tenants and reduce disputes thereby facilitating the management of the plots both in terms of tenancy compliance and the exercise of statutory function performed by the environ- mental health officers in respect of noise pollution and vermin infestation, for example.”

One allotment holder said: “We were all asked if we kept animals, and if we said we did then we were charged.

“I keep pigeons myself and have to pay every month. So why tell them to pay and then say they can’t keep their animals?”

The man, who has rented one of the allotments for 30 years, said he understood some of the complaints from residents.

He said: “In some cases they don’t fence them properly.

“I can understand if people complain about animals running around.”