We have powers to deal with accumulations of rubbish that may be a public health nuisance. If an accumulation is likely to harbor or attract rodents, or present a health risk for humans, enforcement action can be taken on the persons responsible. This action can either be voluntary removal of the refuse accumulation or legal action in the form of a statutory notice.
If the legal notice is not complied with, the council can arrange for the work to be carried out in default. If this occurs, the person(s) responsible for the land would be then be charged for the cost of the work and they may also be prosecuted for their failure to comply with the legal notice.
The Environmental Protection team has powers to deal with any accumulation or deposit arising on private, domestic or commercial property, which is prejudicial to health or a nuisance (Environmental Protection Act 1990) or is, or is likely to, harbor or attract rodents (Prevention of Damage by Pest Act 1949).
Where the owner or occupier of the land is unwilling to cooperate with advice, and informal requests to remove the accumulation are ignored, the Environmental Protection team may take formal enforcement action and serve an Abatement Notice requiring them to remove it within a specified period of time.
The scope of the notice will vary, depending upon circumstances and may also stipulate specific 'works' or maintenance schedules to keep the land or property free from rodents and in a manner that will not cause a Statutory Nuisance.
Failure to comply with the Abatement Notice is an offence and carries a maximum fine of £5,000 if the property is domestic and £20,000 where the property is commercial.
If the accumulation is not removed in accordance with the specifications of the Abatement Notice the Environmental Protection team may carry out one or both of the following;
Arrange for removal of the accumulation and recover all reasonable costs incurred (including Officers time) from the person on whom the Notice was served. Prosecute the person on whom the notice was served.