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Resident Loses Appeal Against Untidy Rear Garden Notice

Local resident Patrick Holyhead of Witchampton Road lost a second appeal at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday 1 November against an untidy site notice issued by Borough of Poole in 2012.

The notice was issued following a neighbour’s complaint about the condition of Mr Holyhead’s rear garden which contained upwards of fourteen cars and vans in various states of decay and rot, and was described in Court as a ‘car grave yard and in quite an appalling condition’ by Mr Andrew Dearing, Planning Enforcement Manager.

A neighbour gave evidence that a local estate agent advised him against selling his property unless he was prepared to take a £20,000 reduction on the true market value due to the condition of Holyhead’s rear garden. Mr Holyhead argued that the amenity of Witchampton Road  had not been harmed by the condition of his rear garden and he had screened off the garden to prevent neighbours overlooking. Regardless of this the garden had been overgrown and used for car storage for over ten years.

The Judge (HHJ Harrow) and two magistrates concurred with the council and upheld the notice, giving Mr Holyhead one month to comply in full. Borough of Poole’s Barrister Mr Michael Tomlinson, said: "This was an important case for Borough of Poole on the question of local amenity.  The Court held that the local amenity was affected by the state of the rear garden and the build up of vehicles and overgrown vegetation, which could possibly be considered a health hazard.  It was found that the state of the garden did adversely affect the amenity of the local area and the Notice issued by Borough of Poole was upheld."

Mr Holyhead has until 1 December to clear and tidy the land to avoid direct intervention and prosecution.