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Landlord not guilty of breaching antisocial rubbish dumping notice

Solicitor Ian Persaud (left) and Francis Investments director Ralph Bernard outside magistrates' court  Picture: ARCHANT

Solicitor Ian Persaud (left) and Francis Investments director Ralph Bernard outside magistrates' court Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A landlord has been cleared of breaching a council notice regarding rubbish left outside two Ipswich properties.

The borough council took Francis Investments to court for 21 breaches of community protection notices (CPNs) concerning waste disposal outside properties containing 13 households in Woodbridge Road and nine households in Hervey Street.

Magistrates found that, though evidence of the breaches had been proven, the St Helen's Street company had taken reasonable steps to comply with the orders.

The CPN in Hervey Street, imposed in September 2016, included requirements to remove unauthorised waste, for all bin lids to remain closed and for the ground to remain free from waste.

The CPN in Woodbridge Road, imposed in February 2017, required the company to remove previously aforementioned items and dispose of them appropriately.

The bench accepted evidence that insufficient bins had been provided at both properties, and that bins were removed "without warning" and not completely replaced by the council, at Hervey Street in April this year.

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Magistrates also accepted tenants had been informed by the company of what items could and could not be deposited in bins.

They found that tenants had been written to about issues, and that arrangements had been made to remove large items, including chasing a third party who fly-tipped a fridge.

Ian Persaud, for Francis Investments, had earlier argued that the prosecution failed to prove the firm was responsible for the waste found at the properties when inspected, and that it was unreasonable for the company to control the behaviour of third parties dumping rubbish.

He said the council had a duty to provide adequate capacity for waste disposal, and that the council gave no guidelines as to what constituted reasonable steps on the part of the firm.

Following the hearing, company director Ralph Bernard said: "It's been a tortuous past three years.

"All the council had to do was speak to us and work with us."

Mr Persaud claimed: "The CPN should never have been issued and the company was never dealt with in conciliatory terms."

IBC declined to comment at this stage.

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