Pigeon poo caused rashes: Antique shop owner

Piles of pigeon droppings have forced Scott Wurth out of one of Katoomba's historic buildings, where he has run an antique shop for the past decade.

Mr Wurth said he was forced out of the 1925 James Buildings because of the health risks. He believes the pigeon droppings, feathers and dirt have caused a severe rash on his arms.

When he first signed a long-term lease in 2011, he insisted on additional provisions, one of which read: "As soon as practicable ... the lessor must address the issue of pigeon droppings and water egress in the back toilet area."

Instead of engaging a professional, a handyman appeared with a "scarecrow" made of an ice cream container on a stick and plastic bags. It didn't work, Mr Wurth said.

In a note to his customers, Mr Wurth wrote: "Due to health reasons, I had to close the shop. The shop has been plagued with pigeon droppings from them nesting in the ceiling and roof cavities.

"I feel sad that I had to leave the premises where through my business I have had the opportunity to meet with you and share your lives. A special thanks to all my customers and friends."

Mr Wurth complained to council last year. An inspector came to investigate and later sent him an email telling him he had written to the owner, acknowledging that pigeons polluting a habitable area of the building was unacceptable and requesting that droppings and feathers be removed.

A council spokeswoman said last week: "The managing agent advised council that repairs to the building were undertaken to keep the pigeons out.

"A council re-inspection showed that the shop was clean."

Attempts to contact the owner for comment through the estate agent were unsuccessful.

Three other shops in the building are also vacant. One, which used to house the Up Beet juice cafe, has been empty for almost three years. The James Buildings are in a very prominent position right opposite the railway station at number one Katoomba Street.