Published: Thursday, 29th March 2018

A Gillingham woman has been ordered to pay more than £500 after ignoring letters to clean up her eyesore gardens.

Following complaints from residents, Medway Council wrote to Heidi Dodd, 50, formerly of Napier Road, Gillingham, on 2 June 2017, asking her to clean up the front and back gardens which were overgrown and contained rubbish including a pile of broken fence panels.

On 30 June officers visited the property again but the gardens remained in an unsatisfactory condition. The council wrote to Dodd again, but she ignored the letters and after a further visit on 31 July found that no work had been carried out to clean up the mess, the council served a section 215 notice on Dodd. It stated that she had until 2 October 2017 to bring the gardens to an acceptable standard, after which further action would be taken.

Officers returned to the property after the deadline but no work had been carried out.

A court hearing was set at Medway Magistrates Court on Thursday, 22 February 2018, and Dodd, who now lives in Beresford Road, Gillingham, pleaded guilty by post.

Magistrates fined Dodd £300 and ordered her to pay costs of £250 and a £30 victim surcharge.

Cllr Jane Chitty, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Enforcement, said: “Everyone has a responsibility to keep Medway clean and tidy and as this woman ignored our letters and the notice we were left with no choice but to take further action. This woman has now been ordered to pay hundreds of pounds which reflects the seriousness of her actions. We are committed to keeping Medway clean and tidy and will take action if our warnings are ignored.”

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