Council takes action to clear garden of rubbish

A Tilgate resident faces a ‘hefty’ clean-up bill after council officers took action to clear their garden of rubbish and remove a wall, which became dangerous.

The condition of a mid-terraced property in Tilgate Way was brought to the attention of Crawley Borough Council’s senior planning officer in August 2012.

There were rubbish sacks and building materials piled in the front and back gardens which had become overgrown. The property was also in a poor state of repair.

The main concern, however, was a garden wall which was leaning heavily towards a neighbour’s back door.

A letter requesting the owner to take action went ignored. In February last year the council served an improvement order and the wall was knocked down.

In April the owner was given 28 days to clear-up and make the required repairs but an inspection in May revealed the request had been ignored.

In July the owner was served notice requiring the necessary improvements to be made by September, but again this did not happen.

With no reply nor appeal, the council then had the authority under Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to take direct action.

Last month a team spent five days at the property clearing up, removing rubbish and painting in the front and back gardens.

Cllr Ken Trussell, cabinet member for environment, said: “Despite repeated requests, this homeowner refused to remove rubbish and make necessary repairs to their property. The council had no option but take direct action. This homeowner now faces a hefty bill to repay the council’s costs.”