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'Eyesore' homeowners ordered to pay £2k
THE neighbour of a man hit with a second fine for failing to clean up his “building site” home said he did not want him prosecuted.
Kenneth Tolley said he and his wife Caroline wished neighbour Philip Gunwhy would just do the necessary work on 58 Timberdine Avenue instead of facing the courts.
However, Mr Gunwhy was fined £2,000 in his absence at Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday, October 4, after failing to act on numerous complaints, official notices and court orders.
Mr Tolley, aged 75, described the semi-detached house as a “building site” but had hoped Mr Gunwhy would make improvements following the original £1,100 fine he received in March.
Boarded up windows, large sections of missing rendering from the front of the house and, at times, scaffolding and tarpaulin obscuring the front had caused it to look untidy since 2008.
Mr Tolley, whose home is connected to the property, said: “We have tried to look after our house and had a new roof put on, new fascias fitted and worked on the garden, so to live next door to it is just frustrating. It affects my wife worse than it affects me because I try and ignore a lot of it.
“We are pleased that the planning officers are taking it seriously but we don’t want him prosecuted, we just want him to do some work to the house.”
Worcester City Council issued a section 215 Tidy-up Notice in July 2010, ordering Mr Gunwhy to improve the appearance of the property because it was adversely affecting the amenity of the area.
However, when he ignored the notice he was ordered to pay £1,100 fines by magistrates in March this year.
Planning enforcement officers from the city council visited the house several times since March and sent Mr Gunwhy letters warning him that he would face court if it was not cleaned up.
However, when he failed to take action Mr Gunwhy was summoned to attend magistrates court and fined as well as ordered to pay £500 costs and a £15 victim surcharge in his absence.
A city council spokesman said the case clearly showed how important it was for people to talk to them if they were facing a notice or a summons.
He said: “If Mr Gunwhy had carried out this work, or had responded to the many letters we sent him, this second court case and a second fine could have been avoided.”