A Beckenham man who refused to have furniture, rubbish and sheds removed from his overgrown garden has been forced to pay out £5,000.

Geoffrey Hobson, 78, of Holly Crescent, was served an ‘untidy site notice’ in March 2021, following a series of complaints dating back to 2016 and years of warnings.

The property was strewn with rows of old dining chairs blocking entrance to the garden, which was littered with rubbish bags and various items, including two sheds (one collapsed) which were choked with vegetation.

Communications with family representatives led to numerous by family members to tidy the site, all of which were disrupted by Mr Hobson.

When the garden remained a mess, a prosecution was brought by Bromley Council in January at Bromley Magistrates’ Court.

Councillor Angela Page, Executive Councillor for Public Protection and Enforcement, said: “There is a legal criterion of what constitutes an untidy site.

“And when a property falls below this standard and becomes extremely untidy, then we can and will take action to protect the amenity of the street and its residents.

“We will always seek to engage directly with the resident and ask that improvements be made. If despite this, the situation does not improve then the decision will invariably be made to prosecute, which shows just how seriously we take this matter.”

Mr Hobson failed to attend the court hearing in early January and was tried in his absence.

He was found guilty and received the statutory maximum fine of £1000 and was ordered to pay the entire £4034.50 in prosecution costs.

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