Eyesore house leaves owner with a £22,000 bill

Eyesore house in Cook Road, Tilgate, before clean-up work
Eyesore house in Cook Road, Tilgate, before clean-up work

A homeowner who used his garden as a rubbish dump is now facing a £22,000 bill after council officials stepped in to clean it up.

Neighbours complained when the eyesore property was left neglected in Cook Road, Tilgate.

Eyesore house in Cook Road, Tilgate, after a �22,000 re-fit SUS-151125-172636001

Eyesore house in Cook Road, Tilgate, after a �22,000 re-fit SUS-151125-172636001

Crawley Borough Council decided to act when the owner failed to respond to letters and a legal notice demanding action.

The semi-detached property was in such a poor state it took council workmen seven weeks to clear and repair at a cost of a staggering £22,284.

The trouble started last year when planning officials found that the front and back gardens of the house were filled with rubbish, various building materials, and were overgrown and untidy.

The house itself was also in a poor state - the front door had been boarded up, the porch had collapsed and a side extension was wrecked.

The council wrote to the owner in June but received no reply and another letter was sent the following month demanding improvements. Again, there was no response.

The council served notice and a court order requiring repair works be carried out by February 1 2015 and the owner was told direct action would be taken if nothing was done.

Work began last month when all the rubbish was removed from the garden, new windows and and doors installed, gutters and pipes replaced, the extension rebuilt and front and rear elevations painted.

Councillor Colin Lloyd, cabinet member for environmental services, said: “Despite several requests, this homeowner refused to remove rubbish from his front and back garden or improve the building.

“This property was a major eyesore for a long time so the council had to act.”