A woman was left ‘gobsmacked ‘after environmental health chiefs tried to charge her for removing rats from land which she does not own.
Cheryl Wing, of Dunvegan Avenue, Danesmoor, came across six baby rats next to boulders on land opposite Sharley Park Leisure Centre in Clay Cross.
The 50-year-old said that soon after one of the rats ‘jumped’ off the pavement towards her and so she decided to ring environmental health.
“They were trying to charge me £61,” Cheryl said.
“I just said ‘are you joking? Why would I pay you £61 to clean it up, it is not my garden’.
“I thought I was doing the right thing but they were not interested.
“The site is an eye sore. It is a dumping ground for beer cans, cigarette packets and takeaway boxes.”
As it stands, the rats are still thought to be at the location which is on a main road.
“Last Tuesday I noticed at least five new baby rats had appeared,” Cheryl told the Derbyshire Times.
“There is also someone putting bird seed on top of the boulder every morning so that is also feeding them.
“Everybody else sees it, children play near there and people at the bus stop are talking about it.
“One man was pushing his young baby near the boulders and I showed him and he said ‘Oh, my God’.”
A North East Derbyshire District Council spokesman said the land was owned by Tesco and said the supermarket giant intended to clean up the area.
However, the spokesman questioned the quote given to Cheryl and said: “We have been looking at the land following a complaint made on 14 March 2017 and visited the site on 16 March 2017 but found no evidence of rats but lots of discarded food bits and litter, etc on the land which could attract rats. As the land is privately owned (Tesco), we cannot bait the land without the owner’s permission.
“We are in discussions with the store manager at Tesco who has advised us they will address the litter/food waste on the land and will put a ‘clean-up team’ on the area to sort it.
“We do not have any recorded details of a complaint from a lady last Tuesday about rats on land opposite the leisure centre in Clay Cross. Also the price quoted of £61 for a pest control treatment is incorrect as it is actually £41 and the landowner would be charged this for our time and any treatment provided and not the complainant.”