Unruly bush man vows to fight £2K garden fine
BUSHES as tall as a house in Adrian Woodyatt's garden have landed him a £2,600 court bill - a decision he has slammed as 'over the top'.
Neighbours in Nine Elms Road, Longlevens, claim they are plagued by rats and dead birds from the overgrown 'jungle'.
Woodyatt was ordered to hand over £2,670.50 by Gloucester Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
But there was no court order to get him to clean up the garden, providing little comfort to beleaguered neighbours.
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He failed to turn up at the hearing but at his home this week, the 44-year-old said: "I am angry and disappointed at these findings. It is a lot of money.
"I wasn't even aware of the situation and didn't know I was meant to be in court.
"A lot of my time has been taken up working and looking after my elderly mother who is not well at the moment.
"The findings are totally over the top and I will be appealing the decision."
Woodyatt has 28 days to pay up.
Next door neighbour Amy Galbraith looks out onto 15ft tall bushes and said she has been unable to sell her home. She said: "He has blighted my house ever since we moved in.
"The back garden is so tall it's dark inside our house. It's become a rat-infested jungle and we've even seen dead birds.
"My dad even offered to buy the house off him but he said no. It's ridiculous."
One 80-year-old neighbour said he even had to clamber onto the asbestos-ridden roof of his garden shed to fend off the weeds.
He said: "It is not nice having to deal with this daily. Your garden should not start to affect other people."
Woodyatt does not live at the property, which he has owned for six years.
Elaine Bell, prosecuting for Gloucester City Council, told how the council had pleaded with him since October 2011 for action - but their requests fell on deaf ears.
In June, council inspectors found the garden had got worse and they decided to take him to court.
Sentencing Woodyatt, Judge Joti Boparai said: "It is quite clear that the notices were served properly. He was given further opportunity and nothing has been heard of him.
"The gardens are probably much worse by now, I find the matter proved."
Andy Birchley, senior planning compliance officer, said later: "We hope that Mr Woodyatt will now work with us to resolve the matter."