Overgrown Peterborough garden leads to court fine

A resident whose garden was left to grow wildly out of control has been ordered to pay nearly £400 at court.

Thursday, 14th November 2019, 6:00 am
The overgrown garden in Central Avenue

Alan Baxter, of Central Avenue, Dogsthorpe, let his front and back gardens become overgrown - to the extent a resident made a complaint to the council about the state of the property.

Bushes, shrubs and other plants had grown so much that it was difficult to get to the door of the home.

Baxter was given a notice from Peterborough City Council to clear the garden in May - but two months later he had not carried out the work.

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The overgrown garden in Central Avenue

Last week he was given a £100 fine by Peterborough Magistrates’, and ordered to pay costs of £250 and a victim surcharge of £30, to be paid by November 11.

Baxter did not attend the hearing, magistrates found he was guilty of breaching Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act in his absence.

The case was brought by Peterborough City Council, who said prosecutions like this were ‘very rare.’

A spokesman for Peterborough City Council said: “The front garden was extremely overgrown making it difficult to access the front door.

The overgrown garden in Central Avenue

“The back garden was completely overgrown, with foliage over two meters in height across the entirety of the garden.

“Homeowners have a responsibility to maintain properties to a satisfactory standard, both for the amenity of their property, neighbouring properties and the wider community.

“Our enforcement team will always try to resolve such matters through constructive dialogue and issue improvement notices where necessary. If that approach fails to resolve an issue then we will look to prosecute.”

Council’s can serve a Section 215 notice on the owner or occupier in cases where the condition and the appearance of the property or land are detrimental to the surrounding area or neighbourhood.

The overgrown garden in Central Avenue

A notice can be served on any property - as long as there is not an active planning application.

The section 215 notice requires proper maintenance of the property or land in question, and it specifies what steps are required to remedy the problem within a specific time period.

An appeal may be lodged against the Section 215 notice to the Magistrates’ Court, but breach of the notice is an offence.

The overgrown garden in Central Avenue
The overgrown garden in Central Avenue