Resident ordered to pay £5k+ in fine and costs after council prosecution over untidy and overgrown garden

A local resident who failed to address the amount of rubbish and items in his overgrown garden has been ordered to pay more than £5,000 in a fine and costs, following a prosecution brought by Bromley Council.

After receiving complaints, the local authority warned the resident in Beckenham about the condition of his property in August 2016.

The local authority said that “rows of old dining chairs blocked the garden entrance; the garden itself was littered with rubbish bags and various items; and the two sheds (one collapsed) were choked with vegetation”.

It added that communications with family representatives had led to numerous attempts made by family members to tidy the site, all of which were disrupted by the resident’s refusal for anything to be removed.

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Bromley said that “after years of further warnings, complaints and neglect”, an untidy site notice was issued in March 2021.

When the garden remained untidy, a prosecution was brought at the Bromley Magistrates’ Court.

The defendant failed to attend the court hearing in early January and was tried in his absence. He was found guilty and received the statutory maximum fine of £1,000. He was also ordered to pay the entire £4,034.50 in prosecution costs.

Cllr Angela Page, Executive Councillor for Public Protection and Enforcement, said: “There is a legal criterion of what constitutes an untidy site. And when a property falls below this standard and becomes extremely untidy, then we can and will take action to protect the amenity of the street and its residents.

“We will always seek to engage directly with the resident and ask that improvements be made. If despite this, the situation does not improve then the decision will invariably be made to prosecute, which shows just how seriously we take this matter.”

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