Bexhill resident handed hefty bill in court for messy garden

Anthony Hamilton's garden at Southcliffe, Bexhill in July last year
Anthony Hamilton's garden at Southcliffe, Bexhill in July last year

A resident whose front garden was compared to a ‘junk yard’ has been hauled before the courts for a second time.

Anthony Hamilton, of Southcourt Avenue, Bexhill, was handed a 12-month conditional discharge and a hefty bill for court costs after failing to comply with a previous order to clear up the mess.

The 75-year-old denied the offence but was tried and convicted at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, August 5, following a prosecution by Rother District Council.

The defendant had admitted and been convicted of the same offence in July last year, after ignoring an enforcement notice issued under the Town and Country Planning Act.

However, a year on, his garden remained strewn with rubbish including builders’ waste, compost and manure bags, pallets, plastic bags and sheeting and cardboard boxes.

Magistrates, who ordered Hamilton to pay £1,366 in court costs to the district council and a £15 victim surcharge, told him to clear up the mess or the council would do it for him and bill him for the work.

Councillor Ian Hollidge, Rother District Council’s cabinet member for environment, transport and public realm, said: “For years now, residents of Southcourt Avenue have had to put up with living near something resembling a junk yard, which is a blight on an otherwise clean and tidy street.

“Mr Hamilton has had plenty of chances to comply with the order and clear up the mess, but for reasons known to himself has chosen not to do so.

“I would strongly urge him to take heed of what he was told in court and bring to an end a saga which has already taken up many hours of our officers’ time and resulted in considerable expense to himself.”

Council officers visited Hamilton’s property in January 2013 and an enforcement notice was issued in the following month, which took effect in May 2013.

In July last year he admitted failing to comply with the notice and was convicted at Hastings Magistrates’ Court, where he was fined £750 and ordered to pay a £75 victim surcharge and the council’s court costs of £1,104.

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