A PENSIONER fined £5,000 for his rubbish-filled garden has described it as “beautiful” – and said he will refuse to pay.
Neighbors hate the messy mounds in the 80ft green space at the back of Geoffrey Hobson’s home but he is adamant it provides a “paradise” for wildlife.
The 79-year-old has spent years dumping old furniture, ladders and even three cars in the back garden of his home in Beckenham, south-east London.
Residents repeatedly complained to the council, and he was eventually given a “notice of the place not being cleaned” after refusing to clean up.
He was ordered to appear in court but failed to present himself so was found guilty in his absence and ordered to pay a £1,000 fine and £4,034.40 in prosecution costs.
However, the former builder intends to appeal, insisting his garden is no one else’s business.
Geoffrey, who has lived in the house for more than 50 years, says: “How can anyone complain about my garden? It’s beautiful, full of greenery and full of memories.
“My back garden is not directly looked down upon by anyone. I was fined thousands of dollars for something that didn’t affect anyone else.
“I intend to appeal. I think my human rights have been violated.
“I’m an old man, I’m in bad health, and I don’t need to put up with this aggravation at this point in my life.”
The father admits it can be “a bit messy” but insists nothing in his garden is dangerous and that it is actually home to many species of birds, squirrels and amphibians.
He sees it as an opportunity for him to “do a little” for the environment from the comfort of his own home.
“I am not a member of the Green Party but I agree with their theory,” he said.
“There’s a lot of cars on the road and they’re pumping fuel and killing the environment, and I know that trees and vegetation are good.
“You have to start somewhere. I’m old and I don’t expect to live forever, but while I can, I wanted to add in some fresh air.
“I found loads of animals in my garden. If squirrels and all these animals came into my back garden, it couldn’t be so bad, but according to the council, I have to cut those trees down. .
“There is nothing in my garden that is unsafe for the environment or harmful to anyone’s health. Everything in it is good.
“Why did they choose me, someone whose private property is being put to good use? I’m standing up for the environment.
“My garden is a wildlife haven. That is my ultimate goal.”
I was fined thousands of dollars for something that didn’t affect anyone else.
Geoffrey insists he never got a chance to tell his neighbors about his garden oasis because they simply wouldn’t listen.
But some people who live on the quiet street insist they don’t want to hear it because the clutter of pensioners gives them a huge headache – even bringing rats into the street.
One woman, who has lived there for 30 years, who wished to remain anonymous, said she couldn’t leave her grandchildren or her dog in the back garden without a broom to ward off rodents.
She stated, “He had buildings that had just collapsed and loads of furniture and trash. It was horrible.
“The family net is like hell, they constantly have rats in their garden.
“Neither do we. We can’t let the dog out in the back garden. We have to be very careful.
“I’ve got grandchildren and you don’t want them in the garden. You don’t know what’s out there.”
“You have to stand there with them with a broom to push the rats away if you see them. Everyone has them.”
However, another neighbor said they “barely noticed” the abandoned items scattered behind Geoffrey’s property, while a third said he “keeps it for himself”.
Angela Page, executive commissioner for Public Protection and Enforcement at Bromley Council, said his house falls below the standard of being considered tidy.
“There is a legal criterion for what constitutes an unclean website,” he said.
“And when a property falls below this standard and becomes extremely cluttered, we can and will act to protect the comfort of the street and its inhabitants.
“We will always be looking for ways to interact directly with residents and request improvements to be made.
“Despite this, if the situation does not improve then a decision to prosecute will always be made, which shows how seriously we take this matter.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4731588/man-fined-junk-garden-neighbours-refuse-pay/ I was fined £5k for my garbage garden