Owner billed as council steps in to clear rubbish from garden

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Crawley Borough Council has stepped in to clear up a Tilgate home after rubbish was left in the front garden and a wall became dangerous to neighbours.

The condition of a mid-terraced property in Tilgate Way was brought to the attention of the council’s Senior Planning Officer in August 2012.

Rubbish sacks and building materials were piled in the front and back gardens which had become untidy and overgrown and both the front and rear elevations of the property were in a poor state of repair.

A spokesman for the council said: “The main concern however was an external garden wall which was leaning heavily towards the neighbouring property’s back door.

“A letter requesting the owner to take action on these issues did not receive a response and at the end of February 2013 an improvement order was enforced by the council and the wall was knocked down.

“The owner of the property was given a period of 28 days from April 23 to clear-up and make the required repairs but an inspection on May 30 revealed the request had been ignored.”

The owner was served notice on July 13 under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 requiring the necessary improvements to be made by September 2013.

This did not happen, no appeal was made and no response from the owner was received.

The council then had the authority under Section 219 of the Act to take direct action.

In February, the council sent a team to the property where they spent five days clearing up, removing rubbish and painting in the front and back gardens.

The owner will be required to repay the council’s costs.

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.”