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Fine for homeowner whose garden became a dumping ground

A homeowner whose back garden became a dumping ground has been fined more than £2,000 by Chelmsford Magistrates.

A homeowner whose back garden became a dumping ground has been fined more than £2,000 by Chelmsford Magistrates, following a successful prosecution by Colchester Borough Council.

Magistrates heard how neighbours first complained to Environmental Protection officers in November 2017 about large piles of rubbish that had been left in the rear garden of 14 Langdale Drive, Colchester, following a house fire.

Officers traced the property to David Thomas, of Weston-super-Mare, who had been renting the address to private tenants until the fire in July 2016.

When a follow-up visit by Environmental Protection officers, in April 2018, found evidence that Thomas had failed to clean up his act and the rubbish could attract vermin, he was served a formal notice under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949.

On the 19th July 2018, magistrates found Thomas guilty in his absence and imposed a £660 fine, victim surcharge of £66 and £1,390 costs – totalling £2,116 with a 14-day collection order.

Cllr Tina Bourne, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: “It is understandable that people will occasionally need to store some rubbish in their gardens for a short period, but it is not acceptable for anyone to ignore the repeated advice of our Environmental Protection officers and allow their garden to become an unhygienic eyesore for months on end.

“I hope this case sends a firm message to those who fail to take responsibility for their own waste and who disregard the effect their actions have on the quality of life of other residents. If there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, they should know that we will not hesitate to do so.”


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