Owner of neglected property must pay £1,650

The owner of an "unsightly" house in Crewe has been fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £650 in a council clampdown on dilapidated empty properties.

Cheshire East Council serves notices on neglected properties as part of a campaign to help bring more houses back into use and to improve the appearance of the area.

The council's empty homes team served a notice under the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 to require that the front of David Moreton's house, on Gainsborough Road, Crewe, be upgraded and brought into a better state of repair.

Moreton, who failed to attend the hearing at South Cheshire Magistrates Court on Tuesday 23 July, was fined £1,000 for failing to comply with the requirements of the notice, the maximum penalty.

The council was awarded costs of £550 and Moreton was also ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge, making it £1,650 in total.

Cllr Don Stockton, cabinet member in charge of housing, said: "Empty properties are a wasted resource, particularly as affordable family homes are in short demand throughout Cheshire East.

"This is about sending a clear message to absent property owners that they cannot simply dodge their maintenance responsibilities and leave the neighbours and the rest of the community to suffer the effects of their negligence.

"The council would like to help empty home-owners to bring their properties back into use, but will take a stern stance on those who do not comply or look to work with us."

The property had been left empty and also completely neglected for more than five years.

Cheshire East Council had asked its owner to cut and tidy the garden and hedges, remove the boards covering his broken windows, repair broken windows and repaint frames, repair broken guttering, replace missing roof tiles and repaint fascia boards.

The house's owner could face further legal action if he continues to choose to ignore his maintenance responsibilities.

Owners of further unsightly empty properties in Crewe, Weston, Willaston and Alsager have also been issued with notices.

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