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“Britain's worst gardener” had so much junk it could be seen on Google Earth
1:30pm Saturday 14th June 2014 in News
A HOMEOWNER has been dubbed “Britain's worst gardener” after he filled his back yard with so much junk it could be seen on Google Earth.
David Baxter's Uckfield garden is so overgrown the council was forced to take him to court because it posed a hazard to environmental health.
Baxter, 62, was fined £200 for failing to properly clean his rubbish tip back garden, after he was successfully prosecuted under the ‘untidy land’ law in 2012.
The garden, behind a smart semi-detached home in Mill Drove, is filled with rubble, rusting metal and garden waste. His mess was so bad the pile of rubbish could be seen on Google Earth.
Appearing before Hastings Magistrates' Court on June 4, Baxter pleaded guilty to one count of failing to comply with a Section 215 untidy land notice.
Wealden District Council issued the notice after receiving complaints from neighbours.
One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “It's an absolute state – it looks like a bomb has gone off and when the sun's shining, it smells like a pigsty.
“I'm so glad I don't live directly next door – that garden needs to be sorted out.
“I spoke to him once about it, and he said he was landscaping.
“I don't know what he's landscaping, but he's probably the worst gardener in Britain.”
Council and Environmental Services Officers visited the site on numerous occasions in a bid to try to encourage Baxter to clean his mess.
Councillor Ann Newton, Wealden District Council cabinet member for planning and development, said: “Mr Baxter, despite being given numerous warnings, ignored Wealden Planning Enforcement Officer's reasonable requests to clear the land which was an eyesore that was upsetting to his neighbours.
“This left us with no choice but to prosecute. This successful prosecution shows Wealden's commitment to ensuring our residents are able to enjoy their surroundings.”
Baxter, who was fined £200 and ordered to pay £270 costs, was given a short deadline to remove all the rubbish and waste from his back garden or face further prosecution.
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