Bradford garden filled with rubble for ten years

Anthony Sibbons' back garden, full of building materials


Two Bradford families are pleading for the council to take action over their neighbour's garden, which has been filled with rubble for more than ten years.

Anthony Sibbons' front and back gardens are piled high with building rubble, stones, timber and broken machinery.

Two years ago, he was issued with a notice from Bradford council ordering him to clear it up, but his neighbours say that nothing has been done - despite the fact that the council introduced a zero-tolerance policy on messy gardens a year ago.

"It has been getting worse over the past 10 years since the householder, Anthony Sibbons, retired," next-door neighbour Aidan Bulland tells the Telegraph and Argus.

"There's enough wood stacked up to run Drax Power Station. It is an eyesore front and back."

Meanwhile, Robert Tessyman, who has lived at the other side of the property for 49 years said the mess has made both him and his wife ill. "The authorities have let us down," he says.

The council says it's doing what it can, but that it's not sure what its options are.

"Neighbourhood Services will be liaising with other council services to discuss what options are available to resolve this case," a council spokesman tells the Mail, adding that the neighbours will be kept informed of any developments.

Rubbish piled up in a neighbour's garden is one of the biggest bugbears for householders. In 2013, there were 93,579 complaints made to local councils over the issue, making it the third most prevalent neighbourhood problem after noise and dilapidated property.

And plenty of other councils have managed to take action. It's easier for them to do so where the rubbish is of a type that might attract rats, such as rotting food, as Environmental Health can take action.

However, earlier this year, a north London woman was successfully prosecuted for filling her garden with building materials and rubble, after failing to comply with a community protection notice ordering her to clear it up. She was ordered to pay £1,123.50 by Willesden Magistrates' Court.

And last November, Gloucester man Adrian Woodyatt was actually ordered to sell his house to cover the cost of clearing his bramble-filled gardens, along with the fines he'd already incurred.


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Nightmare neighbours
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Nightmare neighbours

Gerard and Christina White from Moseley in Birmingham hit the headlines in September last year, when their neighbour ignored his planning permission, and built so close to their house that they said it effectively turned their detached property into a semi-detached one.

Despite the fact it left them unable to maintain the side of their property, the council washed their hands of the case, and said the couple would have to take private legal action if they wanted the extension to be pulled down.

Helen Coughlan, a 52-year-old carer from Woodford Bridge in north east London, was stunned when her neighbours built an extension just 24 inches from her window - completely obscuring her view.

Despite the fact she says it took £100,000 off the value of the home, and rendered it unsellable, the council said it could do nothing to force the demolition of the new extension.

In 2013, a row that had been rumbling for 17 years finally came to court. One of the neighbours had planted eight conifer trees in his front garden, and ignored repeated requests to cut them back to allow natural light into his neighbour’s home.

He was eventually forced to by a court - after the trees had caused a crack to appear in his neighbour’s wall.

Wendy and Paul Collins from Brownhills in the West Midlands watched in horror as their neighbours erected a six foot fence at the bottom of their front garden, blocking their front gate and leaving their car stranded on their front lawn.

Their home faces onto a car park serving a block of flats, and the owners of the flats erected the fence to stop the couple driving through the car park in order to park on their front lawn. The couple can still access their house through the back - and have a drive round the other side of the house - unfortunately their car is stuck on the lawn.

A Michigan man who had been through a bitter divorce, decided to get his revenge on his ex-wife by moving in next door.

As soon as he had moved in, he erected a 12 foot statue in the front garden, of a hand giving the finger. The statue is even lit up at night.

In May last year, Steven and Fiona Young from Blawith were ordered to pay their neighbours, Peter and Lesley Raymond, £600,000, after a campaign of harassment.

The Youngs had lived in a large farmhouse, but decades earlier sold up and moved to a smaller property next door. The Raymonds moved into the farmhouse and the Youngs became nightmare neighbours.

They piled rubbish in the garden, damaged fences, let animals foul their garden, and rode quad bikes over the grounds. When the Raymonds installed CCTV, Mr Young mooned them, and then painted over them.

The Raymonds sued for harassment, trespass, nuisance, assault and slander - and were awarded £200,000. The Youngs also had to pay £400,000 costs.

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