What is an ‘Untidy Site?
When waste is not stored or put out for collection correctly it can escape onto the land around a home. Sometimes this rubbish is added to by other people. If vegetation on the land stops being cared for, this can also trap litter and encourage fly-tipping. When tenants or residents in the house are unsure of how to dispose of items or furniture, they may leave the items on the land. Sometimes this can be for a very long time. These problems can make the land into an ‘untidy site’
Untidy sites lower the quality of the environment and of the street
They can also:
- change the way people feel about their street
- cause more anti-social behaviour
- create a fear of crime
- change the quality of life for neighbours
- cause arguments between neighbours
If Southend-on-Sea Borough Council becomes aware of land that may be an untidy site, we will check the land to see if it is. If we think it is, we will contact the occupiers or owners of the home linked to the land, to give them advice about their legal responsibility to keep the land tidy.
It is not illegal to put items on your own land or to store them for a while, unless:
- this worsens the condition of the land
- the items are clearly unwanted and intended for disposal
- more waste or fly-tipping is added
If this happens we have powers to ask for the land to be tidied.
We will normally work with the occupier or owner of the land and ask for the land to be improved before using enforcement powers. Where the owner has already been given advice or has been asked to tidy the land before, we may begin the enforcement process automatically.
How to report an Untidy Site
If you are worried about someone’s garden or land in your street having a lot of rubbish or unwanted items stored on it, you can report it via our online form.
Will every report lead to enforcement action?
No, Officers will decide if the garden or land is affecting the surrounding area, (the street and people who are living on it). As the front or side gardens are easily seen, they can have the biggest impact so enforcement is usually linked to this type of land. The Officers decision is final.