Overgrown garden owner fined £600

A homeowner who allowed his garden to become overgrown with shrubs and bushes has been fined £600 and ordered to pay more than £2,000 costs for failing to cut it back.

Neighbours of Adrian Woodyatt in a leafy suburb of Gloucester complained to the city council about the state of the front and rear gardens.

Prosecutor Elaine Bell told Gloucester Magistrates' Court that the council first received a complaint about the semi-detached property in Nine Elms Road, Longlevens, in October last year.

"After carrying out checks it was the established the defendant was the owner of the property and a letter was sent on October 10, 2011 requiring him to tidy the gardens of the property and confirm he was the owner of the property," she said.

Miss Bell said that Woodyatt never responded and a further letter was sent by Gloucester City Council giving him until January this year to cut back the front and rear gardens.

"Due to the detrimental impact upon the neighbouring properties a section 215 notice under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 was served on January 20," she said.

"The notice requires specific works to be carried out. By June 6 these works had not been carried out."

Miss Bell said that further visits had been carried out by the council and the bushes were seen to be getting worse.

Woodyatt, who lives at another property on the same road, was not present in court and Miss Bell asked District Judge Joti Boparai to find the case proven in his absence.

Andy Birchley, a senior planning compliance officer at Gloucester City Council, said after the case: "We hope that publicity of such cases will be a deterrent to others and give some peace of mind to neighbours."