You can report untidy land or gardens if they are unsightly as they may attract environmental crimes, such as fly-tipping.
If untidy sites are left, they become worse, and the area starts to feel neglected and unsafe. Untidy sites are rarely dangerous to public health but may have a negative impact on the local area.
You can report untidy gardens if it:
- is visible from a public highway
- is visible from the main living space in your home
- can clearly be seen from your garden.
If the land can only be viewed from other rooms in your home or there is fence blocking the view, we may not be able to take action. Please upload a photo of the land when you complete the form.
You can also report untidy land or gardens by phoning 01634 333 333.
When the condition of a building or land affects the amenity of the area and affecting more than one property or person, we have the power under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to require that the owner or occupier clean up the land or tidy the building up.
What you can do
There are laws about what action you can and cannot take.
You cannot go into a neighbour's garden to remove any foliage or rubbish.
You can cut back anything that comes over your side of the boundary. You should offer any clippings back to your neighbour as they belong to them.
Once we've got your report
Once we have established that it is untidy land within the scope of the law, we will ask the owner to tidy the area.
We normally give the owner up to 28 days to confirm that the works needed will be completed and provide the start date. We will try and work with the owner to resolve the issue.
A notice can be served on the property or owner to request that they tidy it up.
The notice will tell them what needs to be done and when. It is an offence not to comply with the notice within the period specified.
If the requirements of the notice are not carried out in the required time the owner or resident could be fined and prosecuted at court.
Many of the problems of untidy land are easy to put right.
Issues may include:
- build up of household waste, refuse bags, white goods and litter
- dilapidated walls, broken windows or graffiti
- land with fly tipping, industrial or demolition waste
- builders rubble
- dumped sofas or furniture
- abandoned vehicles or caravans in poor condition
- overgrown gardens.
We'll keep details of the person who reported the untidy land confidential.
In some cases, it may be obvious where the complaint has originated from, for example previous neighbour disputes, or if the garden can only be seen from one property.
If the case goes to court for non-compliance of a notice, then any photos taken will be used in evidence. This could mean it becomes apparent where the complaint originated from.