Businessman could face criminal record over compost heap in garden

A businessman has been left '˜gobsmacked' after a council sent him a letter warning he could get a criminal record over a compost heap in his garden.

Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, 11:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, 12:01 pm
George Davison pictured with his partner Kate next to the compost heap.

George Davison, 57, of Barlow, said the small compost heap has been at the top of his garden for about six years.

But North East Derbyshire District Council has sent him a Community Protection Warning Letter stating the ‘accumulation of food waste on the top garden’ is having a ‘detrimental effect on the quality of life of others in the locality’.

Mr Davison, who has lived at the home for 20 years, said: “I am gobsmacked. I do not think I am doing anything wrong. I do not understand it.”

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George Davison says this is the compost heap council bosses want him to sort out.

The issue appears to have arisen after someone made a complaint – claiming the heap could attract rats. But the photographic studio owner and his partner, Kate, 34, use wildlife cameras to film badgers visiting the garden and say they have never seen any rats.

The council letter sent to Mr Davison states he should remove all food waste accumulations from the rear garden and not leave food waste out for consumption by wildlife. The letter encourages Mr Davison to rectify the situation and adds that failing to take action could lead to a criminal record and a substantial fine.

In response, a North East Derbyshire District Council spokesman said: “We do not comment on individual complaints or cases, but we can confirm that it is still under investigation.

“When we receive complaints about waste or litter on residential or commercial premises, we investigate to establish if the complaint is justified and then consider any appropriate action. In some cases, it may be appropriate to issue a Community Protection Warning Letter advising the person or company what they need to do next and what happens if they do not adhere to it.

“All too often when dealing with discarded food waste, it attracts vermin which leads onto more problems so we have to act appropriately in the interests of public health.”