North East Lincolnshire Council

Shopping trolleys, fridges and a trampoline – man fined for failing to clean up eyesore patch of land in Grimsby

A Grimsby man has been fined after he failed to clean up a patch of his land that had been turned into a dumping ground.

Fridges, shopping trolleys, a trampoline, clothes, cardboard, rubble and garden waste had all been dumped on the land behind Peakesfield Avenue in Grimsby.

The mountain of rubbish was in such a state that people living nearby contacted local media to voice their concerns.

A community protection and compliance officer from North East Lincolnshire Council visited the site south of Welholme Road on 6 April 2018.

She deemed the mess to be severe enough to constitute a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

A Land Registry search showed the landowner to be Peter Fitzgerald, 56, of Hainton Avenue, Grimsby.

A legal notice was hand delivered to Fitzgerald on 10 April ordering him to clear up the land and secure it within 28 days.

The officer visited the site again on 9 May and the waste hadn’t been cleared.

Another letter was delivered to the defendant notifying him of the Council’s intent to carry out works in default to remove the rubbish and secure the site.

The Council arranged for the site to be cleaned up on 4 June at a cost of £2,700.

He was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay costs of £250 and a victim surcharge of £120 by District Judge Curtis at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court on Friday (30 November).

The court bill has to be paid within 28 days. He has also been invoiced by the Council for the cost of cleaning up the land.

Fitzgerald did not attend court but was found guilty in his absence of failing to comply with an abatement notice under Section 80 (4) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Cllr David Bolton, portfolio holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, said:

“This patch of land became a real eyesore and was a cause of consternation for people living nearby.
“It wasn’t fair on the wider community for the piles of filth to be left festering for so long.
“The landowner failed to clean it up despite our request so it was left for the Council to sort out the mess.
“We’re cleaning up our streets by cracking down on these types of environmental crime so everyone can benefit from a cleaner, greener North East Lincolnshire.”

Cllr Steve Beasant, chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee, added:

“We want to create an environment that local people can be proud of and we will take legal action against those who make the place look a mess.
“Everyone has a role in looking after the local street scene.
“When property owners fail to look after their land or buildings, it can attract fly-tippers and other problems such as arson.
“Clearing up other people’s mess is a drain on the public purse that we could all do without.”

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