A woman who ignored formal notices from the council, and continued to pile junk outside her property, has been ordered by the courts to clear up, fined – and landed with a huge bill for court costs totalling more than £3,000.
Camberwell Green magistrates fined Noreen Chambers £100 for failing to comply with a Community Protection Notice in relation to her property in Burlington Road and ordered her to pay £3,400 court costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
She was also served with a Remedial Order requiring her to clear the site of rubbish within six weeks – or face further legal action.
Ms Chambers failed to attend the hearing on January 12 and sentence was passed in her absence.
Magistrates heard Croydon Council first attempted to contact the owner of the house in Burlington Road in October 2015 after neighbours complained to the council about the heaps of rubbish surrounding the property.
On visiting the property a neighbourhood officer found household and garden rubbish piled high in the front and back gardens but was unable to gain access.
Investigations showed Ms Chambers to be the owner, and after several unsuccessful attempts to contact her, in November 2015 the council issued her with a Community Protection Warning, requiring her to clear up the mess by December.
In February 2016, when she had still failed to reply or to clean up the rubbish, which was still accumulating, Croydon Council served a Community Protection Notice on the property.
Following this, Ms Chambers did contact the council – to request an extension allowing her until March to clear the site, which was granted.
But she still failed to take any action to clear the site and officers confirmed through visits to the property that not only was rubbish still heaped in the garden, it was now spilling out onto the pavement and the kerb.
In April, she failed to attend an interview with the council and after extensive unsuccessful efforts to engage with her and resolve the issue informally, last year Croydon Council commenced legal proceedings.
Cllr Stuart Collins, cabinet member for Clean Green Croydon
“This is a horrendous example of how the inconsiderate behaviour of one person can blight a community. Rubbish dumped in residential areas not only looks and smells awful, it can be a serious health hazard.
“Clean streets are a priority for us and we will always try to work with all Croydon’s residents and help them dispose of waste responsibly but as our Don’t Mess with Croydon campaign shows, we won’t hesitate to take a tough stance and use enforcement powers when required. We have done everything in our power to work with Ms Chambers but she has refused to respond.”