“Like a wildlife sanctuary for vermin”: neighbors’ anger at abandoned house overshadowed by huge bush


A 12-foot bush protruding from the front of a house and garden triggered a huge council cleanup.

There have been numerous complaints from residents of Newlyn Green in Park End after jungle-like foliage began to eclipse the front of a seemingly empty property on the road as its leaves reached the roof.

Andy Latherom, a 57-year-old self-employed person, who has lived on the streets for over 30 years, said: “It’s an absolute stain in the landscape. You try to keep yours nice, we all do. It must be rotting inside. “

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He added, “It’s like a wildlife preserve for vermin. You see all the hedgehogs around and there has been an increase in the number of rats. I’m not saying it’s from there, but I bet you’ll find them there.

Andy isn’t the only person concerned about rats on the street, although no one can confirm that they came from the house with the overgrown trees.

Alice, 78, who has lived in the same house for 48 years, added: “There have been rats and all kinds of rats and people are using it as a dumping ground.

The house on Newlyn Green in Park End became overgrown and was used for tipping flies

While Linda Williams, 70, who lives next door said: “We’ve had more longtails [rats] enough and I am petrified. He [her son] kills them when he catches them. We had an environment [officer] here and they put poison.

“They come along the fence, they come down from the bushes and then they play on the grass. They even try to jump and catch the pigeons.

She added: “One day we caught nine rats, three of them in one night. “

Her son who lives with her, Glenn Williams, 46, said: “You can sit here. [in the living room] and watch them run on the grass in the garden.

Glenn also has other concerns, he added: “The garage had gas cylinders in the back, what if it’s hot and the temperature rises or if children are there? set it on fire. “

Andy expected more damage to the property, adding: “I’m surprised the windows weren’t installed – although they might not be able to find them!”

Residents agreed that the fly spills had increased and Linda said the children would play with the litter in the back garden and leave it dumped on the street.

However, this was not always the case, everyone fondly remembers the family who lived there for decades and raised their three children there.

Alice said, “It’s a beautiful road and it has always been a beautiful road. I couldn’t have had better neighbors, the one next door, the one across the way, they all take care of you and each other.

“It’s just an eyesore and I just think it’s a shame because someone could have it and do it right.”

Alice also said she was told it would reduce the value of her property if it remained in this condition.

Andy added, “It’s a beautiful house and it’s just heartbreaking.”

The house on Newlyn Green in Park End became overgrown and was used for tipping flies
The house on Newlyn Green in Park End became overgrown and was used for tipping flies

Those who live near the house desperately need to see the front and rear gardens sorted.

Linda said: “It’s just beyond a joke. It depresses me now, why should we try to keep it.”

Council has been aware of the condition of the property for at least two years after Linda reported that people could not use the sidewalks with strollers due to the size of the trees.

After this complaint, the board then went out to cut down the trees, however, it only cut the sides and not the top and did no other work to clean up the mess.

Residents said Councilor Stephen Hill of the Middlesbrough Councilors Independent Association helped them try to sort out the issue and also mentioned Mayor Andy Preston said he would see what he could do when he returned. visit a few months ago.

On Wednesday, September 29, the Local Democracy Reporting Service informed council and the mayor that the property was not being maintained.

On Thursday, September 30, the council sent workers to the house where they were seen tackling the massive hedge.

Workers from Middlesbrough Council have come to cut bushes and clean up the house garden on Newlyn Green in Park End
Workers from Middlesbrough Council have come to cut bushes and clean up the house garden on Newlyn Green in Park End

A Middlesbrough Council spokesperson said: ‘Since we received a complaint about an unsightly and overgrown hedge at a property in Newlyn Green in Park End, a site visit has been made and staff have now started. to reduce it.

“We expect to have completed the work and cleared the site on Monday morning and the owner of the property will be charged for the work done.”

Mayor Preston said there was no point cutting the bushes earlier, during the summer months, when they were still growing, but it would be sorted now.

He added that they had tried to locate the owner of the property to threaten to act unless the house was taken care of, but were unable to locate them.

Therefore, the council “stepped in to make things right.”

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