A couple in East Sussex have been ordered to pay more than £4,000 after they turned their residential property into an unauthorised scrap yard.
John Mallows and his wife June allowed scrap metal, other waste and cars to be deposited and stored at the rear of their property in London Road, Hailsham.
The pair denied breaching the requirements of an official planning notice issued by East Sussex County Council prohibiting them from using the property to store waste materials.
But they were found guilty at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court and sentenced to a joint fine of £2,000 and ordered to pay £2,250 in costs and a £200 victim surcharge.
Carl Maynard, the council’s lead member for environment, said: “The condition of the area at the rear of the property, which is within a residential area, was appalling and prompted numerous complaints to be made to the council.
“Formal enforcement action is always a last resort but, unfortunately in this case, we were left with no option because, despite repeated attempts to resolve the situation, the couple failed to clean up the mess.
“This sentence should send out a strong message that we will not tolerate people who continually and flagrantly breach planning control on waste matters to the detriment of the locality.”
The court heard the Mallows had been issued with a planning enforcement notice by the council in December 2014. After initially complying with the notice, the couple began to store waste again, prompting the council to go to court.
At the hearing on 9 December, the pair were warned that if they did not clear up their land, they could be liable to further prosecution.