All in this Uckfield garden is not at all rosy

The 'untidy' garden in Uckfield
The 'untidy' garden in Uckfield

An Uckfield man, whose garden was described as ‘exceptionally unsightly’ by a district judge, has been prosecuted, Wealden District Council has said.

David Baxter, from Mill Drove, Uckfield, appeared at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on June 4.

He pleaded guilty to one offence of failing to comply with a Section 215 Untidy Land notice which Wealden District Council claimed was affecting the amenity of the area.

The district council said Mr Baxter had persistently ignored requests from the council to clear the land.

The council said in ordering Mr Baxter to pay a £200 fine, £250 towards the council’s costs and £20 victim surcharge, the district Judge described his garden as ‘exceptionally unsightly’.

The Section 215 Notice required Mr Baxter to clear his back garden of all the rubbish, waste and materials that he had accumulated there, the district council said.

Wealden District Council said it issued the notice to Mr Baxter after receiving complaints from neighbours.

Officers visited the site and considered it to be preventing residents in the neighbourhood from enjoying their own homes and gardens.

Councillor Ann Newton, Cabinet Member for Planning and Development, said the land had become an ‘eyesore’ and it was upsetting neighbours.

She said: “Mr Baxter, despite being given numerous warnings, ignored Wealden Planning Enforcement Officer’s reasonable requests to clear the land, which was an eyesore that was upsetting to his neighbours.

“This left us with no choice but to prosecute.”

She said the ruling showed the council’s commitment to ensuring residents can enjoy the places they live.

She continued: “This successful prosecution shows Wealden’s commitment to ensuring our residents are able to enjoy their surroundings.”

A photograph taken by the council in 2012 shows tyres, pots, piping and other waste material piled against the back of the house.

The garden is full of waste and parts of the fence seems to have buckled as the mass has swelled out to the garden’s perimeter.

The photo also shows the proximity to neighbours with one window visibily overlooking the site.

A spokesman for Wealden District Council said it is currently setting Mr Baxter a short deadline for clearing up his land.