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Council steps in to tidy up eyesore property

At-work-to-tame-out-of-control-garden-in-Somers-Road-Worcester

Worcester City Council has used special powers to step in and clear up an unkempt and overgrown garden at a property in Somers Road, which had been empty for over ten years.

The absent owner, whose whereabouts are unknown, had not kept up with general maintenance of the Worcester property. The garden had become extremely overgrown, causing a headache for neighbours and an eyesore for the whole community.

The City Council's planning enforcement team served a Tidy Up Notice on the property in November 2020.The owner didn't respond, so the Council stepped in to carry out an extensive tidy-up of the garden. A team got to work to cut back masses of out-of-control ivy and to trim trees which were obscuring neighbours' view.

"The front and back gardens of the property had been completely overgrown for many years and the house unoccupied," says John McMillan, who lives in the neighbourhood.

"We're very pleased that this action has been taken by the City Council's planning department."

The extensive works, conducted by Enforcement Services Ltd, cost close to £10,000.If the Council is unable to trace the owner, it could undertake an Enforced Sale of the property to recover the costs of the work and prevent further deterioration.

"While the majority of empty properties are well maintained, this cautionary tale demonstrates that absent owners still have responsibilities to their neighbours and to the wider community," said Cllr Marc Bayliss, Leader of Worcester City Council.

"If your property has a negative impact on others, the City Council can intervene and use available powers to remedy the situation."

The City Council's planning enforcement team pursued the case over 18 months. The team's role is to respond to handle planning related complaints.The Council can use planning powers to take action where properties have been neglected and cause problems for neighbours.

For more information and to contact the team, go to:

www.worcester.gov.uk/planning/planning-enforcement 

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