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Couple's monkey house gets go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 06:18 25 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 February 2010

MOST people's back gardens feature the odd slug or snail - but at one house in Essex, you can expect to find a menagerie including 20 monkeys and parrots.

MOST people's back gardens feature the odd slug or snail - but at one house in Essex, you can expect to find a menagerie including 20 monkeys and parrots.

Judy and Ted Millard received retrospective planning permission from Tendring District Council on Wednesday , allowing them to keep an aviary behind their bungalow in Great Holland.

The wooden building - kept at the exotic temperature of 75F - is the cosy home of their “extended family” of marmosets.

Mrs Millard, who works for various animal charities, said: “We know all the monkeys by name and they are like our children. They're endearing and fascinating, and we love them to pieces.”

Retired Mr Millard has bred the animals for the last 20 years as a hobby.

He said: “They are like human beings. Some of them have nice temperaments and others are completely miserable.”

Mr and Mrs Millard were disappointed that the district council had received objections to the aviary from local residents.

Neighbours had voiced concerns over the proximity of the outbuilding to their homes, the noise, and the vermin they claim the monkeys attract.

But, after some deliberation, the development control committee approved the building.

Committee member Peter Patrick said: “There was an issue of whether the aviary was too close to surrounding buildings but the council found that it was not.

“The main objections to the proposal were regarding what is kept in it, and this is not a matter for planning but for environmental health.”

Mrs Millard defended the marmosets, saying: “An aviary full of finches and budgerigars is more noisy. The monkeys make little noise and have such a set routine that they never get up before 9.30am.

“And I think they are being blamed for all the wildlife problems in Great Holland.”

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