Brighton home made safe after being neglected

Posted On 24 Apr 2012 at 11:17 am

The council has restored a house in Brighton after it was allowed to become unsafe through neglect.

It said that the full cost of the work would be reclaimed from the owner of the property in Dale Crescent, Patcham.

The house was found to have structural problems after contractors were sent in to clear its overgrown garden.

Trees and bushes had almost reached roof height and foliage had grown into a dense thicket, prompting complaints from neighbours.

Brighton and Hove City Council took the owner, Ronald Charles Robbins, to court almost 18 months ago.

He was found to have ignored an enforcement notice – known as a section 215 notice – requiring him to improve the condition of the property.

Although he was given extra time to comply, the property remained in a state of disrepair and the garden neglected.

Just under a year ago contractors were sent in by the council to carry out the works set out in the enforcement notice.

The council said: “Once the vegetation was cleared back it became apparent that the rear of the house was structurally unsafe and building control officers served a dangerous structure notice.

“Contractors were then instructed to carry out work to make the building safe before completing the work required by the section 215 notice.”

Councillor Phelim MacCafferty, chairman of the council’s planning committee, said: “It is disappointing that we have had to step in and carry out work to the property.

“Our officers spend a lot of time contacting the owners of such properties and in most cases manage to persuade them to carry out work without the need for formal action.

“We were left with no alternative in this case and are taking action for the sake of neighbours and to fulfil our commitment to improve the character and appearance of residential areas.”

The council said that it had successfully recovered all the money that had been spent on carrying out works in default over the past four years.

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