Overgrown garden lands Rugby man with hefty legal bill - The Rugby Observer

Overgrown garden lands Rugby man with hefty legal bill

Rugby Editorial 13th Apr, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

AN OVERGROWN garden has landed a Hillmorton man with a £610 legal bill after he ignored a council notice ordering him to tidy it up.

Andrew Davies, 63, of Chamberlain Road, pleaded guilty at Nuneaton’s Warwickshire Justice Centre on Tuesday (12 April) to failing to comply with the Section 215 notice.

The notice was served after Rugby Borough Council’s (RBC) planning enforcement team received a complaint.

An officer first visited Davies’ home in October 2015 and found the front garden was untidy and in need of mowing, while the rear garden was severely overgrown – impacting on both his and neighbouring properties.

The officer advised Davies he had 28 days to return the gardens to an acceptable standard or risk enforcement action.

After the 28 days had passed, the officer returned to Davies’ home to find no work had been carried out.

So on November 10 Davies was served with a Section 215 notice – ordering him to cut down and remove the vegetation from his gardens or face prosecution.

The notice set a deadline of January 9 for the work to be completed, but when the officer visited three days after the deadline only a small amount of work on the front garden had been done.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Davies told magistrates he had failed to fully understand the requirements of the notice and the dates by which the work had to be completed.

He added it was dark by the time he returned home from work, preventing him from working on the gardens, and he had problems with sleeping and other health issues.

Davies was fined £110 and ordered to pay £480 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the hearing, RBC head of planning Rob Back said: “Homeowners have a responsibility to maintain properties to a satisfactory standard, both for the amenity of the property concerned and the amenity of neighbouring properties and the wider community.

“While our planning enforcement team always try to resolve such cases through constructive dialogue, when an informal approach fails to resolve a problem we’re ready to use the legal powers at our disposal.”

Residents can report planning enforcement concerns to the council by emailing [email protected] or calling (01788) 533759.

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