North East Lincolnshire Council

Woman fined for using backyard as a dump

More than 30 bin bags, cardboard boxes, plastic tubs and children’s toys – just some of the rubbish North East Lincolnshire Council enforcement officers found dumped in a Grimsby back garden.

Laura Robbins, of Stanley Street, Grimsby, was punished with fines and costs totalling £580 at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court after twice ignoring a legal warning to clear up the mess.

An environmental Enforcement officer visited the property on 13 March after a complaint and found more than 30 bin bags and other household rubbish strewn across the garden.

A legal notice was delivered on 1 April stating that the rubbish had to be removed within 14 days.

No attempt was made to clear up the mess and the Council arranged for the garden to be cleared by a private contractor at a cost of £660. There was more rubbish in the front and rear garden when the officer visited again in July after another complaint. This means there were two breaches of the notice.

Robbins failed to attend Court on 16 August and she was found guilty in her absence of two counts of failing to comply with an Abatement Notice served under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 79 (1) (e).

The court imposed a fine of £220 (£110 for each offence) and ordered the defendant to pay £330 costs. There was also a victim surcharge of £30.

Cllr Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, said:

“Most people want Grimsby to look clean and tidy. There’s no excuse for leaving a garden in such a state.

“It’s unfair on people living nearby to have to put up with mess like this. It can also lead to more serious problems and act as a beacon for more fly-tipping and even arson.

“We won’t hesitate to take actions against households who cause a nuisance by leaving unsightly piles of rubbish to build up in their gardens.”


Accumulations or build-up of rubbish and severely overgrown gardens can have a negative impact on the neighbourhood. It becomes a nuisance when it begins to smell, encourages vermin or is unsightly.

If you’re affected by this problem, first try to talk to the parties involved. If this is not possible or does not result in a mutual agreement, please complete our online form Waste in gardens.

Our officers will attend as soon as practicable. If they deem the issue to be causing a nuisance they will engage with the party involved. They are well trained to work within the bounds of the legislation.

If you believe the rubbish is attracting vermin or contains food waste you need to report using the online form at If the rubbish is inert i.e. wood, rubble, metal and is not likely to cause any issues, it is unlikely that that we will be able to take any action but you can complain using the online form if you have further issues you wish to raise.

You should state how this is affecting you or your family. Officers will go and investigate and take further action if appropriate.

A garden that is simply overgrown and/or untidy does not constitute a statutory nuisance and will not be investigated unless there is a possibility of it harbouring vermin or waste.

If your neighbour allows their pet(s) to foul in the garden and doesn’t clean it up you can speak to your neighbour and advise them of how it is affecting you.

If they refuse to do anything, you can report it using the online form at We will investigate and where appropriate take action.


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