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Nest boxes bid a non-flier due to noise levels

A man who was refused permission to build 20 nest boxes on his house has lost an appeal to An Bord Pleanála.

Ray McGovern, of Strand Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4 appealed a decision by Dublin City Council (DCC) to refuse permission for the erection of a 5.7m high mast with 20 nest boxes for the use of swifts from the beginning of May until the end of August each summer.

Mr McGovern intended to broadcast daily swift calls via loudspeakers four times at varying lengths between 7am and 10pm at night in order to attract at least 20 pairs of birds to the nests on his house.

However, the council decided last March that the nests were unsuitable due to noise pollution.

They commented that encouraging groups of birds to nest close to residential properties could be a potential nuisance for Mr McGovern's neighbours, which when combined with daily broadcasts would "seriously disrupt rest and sleep periods".

In the initial application, Mr Govern described himself as being a keen bird watcher who attracted birds to his garden and wanted the temporary nest boxes for use during the summer months.

A number of his neighbours objected to his proposal, which was rejected on the basis of that the mast plus the birds' presence would impact on visual and residential amenities.

A number of issues arose from the proposed nests, including that using nests to attract swifts would not have been used much previously, the call of swift birds being a high-pitched scream and the potential nuisance of increased levels of bird droppings.

The nests were also rejected as it was not common for swifts to nest in man-made boxes and there was no evidence they would even attract the birds.