A pullet rearer from Staffordshire has successfully won a three-day trial against his local council about noisy ventilation fans.

Alan Critchlow, from Hawthorn Farm, was served an abatement notice by South Derbyshire District Council in June 2008, after it received complaints about noise.

However, Mr Critchlow took the council to court. “The council even tried at the last minute to employ a company who control noise and vibration for a fee of £500, but I refused to let this happen,” he said.

The court rejected South Derbyshire District Council’s bid to silence his chicken shed fans and ordered the authority to pay his £20,000 legal costs.

“It’s an absolute disgrace that a bumbling, bureaucratic organisation can cost every individual that pays Council Tax an additional expense.”

He added: “The authorities are very out of touch with regulation and, therefore do not know what is ‘best practical means.’ I won my case outright and my advice to anyone is ‘challenge’ if you know you are operating in the best manner possible.”

The council acted after receiving complaints from neighbours.

To help other poultry producers, Mr Critchlow is offering to give tips and share his experiences (alancritchlow@googlemail.com).