Page last updated at 13:27 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Hoarder wins right to keep rubbish in his Westcott home


Hoarder wins right to keep rubbish

A Surrey man who is hoarding tonnes of rubbish in his garden has won the legal right to keep it there.

Mole Valley District Council ordered Richard Wallace to clear up the mess at his home in the village of Westcott near Dorking.

But the 59-year-old successfully appealed at the crown court, claiming an "Englishman's home is his castle".

The council said it was "disappointed" by the court's decision and was considering its next steps.

'Slightly overloaded'

Mr Wallace's back garden is strewn with household waste, building materials and front doors.

He said: "I tend to hoard things because I want to retain some of them and they need to go somewhere.

"The house has got slightly overloaded and it tends to spill outside."

The council issued an enforcement notice ordering Mr Wallace to clean up the mess but a judge at Guildford Crown Court overturned the decision.

Richard Wallace
Richard Wallace said he intends to clean the mess up

Mr Wallace said: "I decided to take a stand, I think it's important to stand up for one's rights.

"In the time honoured expression that an Englishman's home is his castle, I decided to take the council on."

Despite his victory, Mr Wallace said he is not happy with the state of his garden.

"I have every intention of tidying it up to everyone's satisfaction," he said.

Councillor Chris Hunt, portfolio holder for strategic planning, said he was "disappointed" by the outcome.

The court did not believe Mr Wallace's garden had a negative impact on the neighbourhood, the council said.

The local authority would "reflect" on the decision before deciding whether to take further action, Mr Hunt added.

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