The 'eyesore' in Burnham Road has been adandoned for more than three years

Mother Lisa Stevens with 18 month old Luke, Josh (three), Kyle (six), Ryan (11) and Aaron (13) in their back garden

Most of the walls on the left-hand side of her property are covered in dampness

Outside the derelict property in Burnham Road

A view of the back garden which is seen to encroach on the neighbour's property

The untammed garden as it stands today

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Waltham Forest

An abandoned crumbling house surrounded by overgrown trees and plants is a threat to a neighbours’ health, it is claimed.

The house, in Burnham Road, Chingford was abandoned more than three years ago after the bed-ridden owner, considered to be seriously ill, was taken to hospital and eventually moved into a care home.

According to Waltham Forest council, her son and carer has not taken responsibility for the crumbling building since his mother was hoisted out of the house by ambulance services.

In April 2012, the council issued a prohibition order to the son stating no-one can live in the property until improvements are carried out. 

Now the rear wall of the property has collapsed and Lisa Stevens, who lives next door says she has become increasingly frustrated by the lack of action.

The 35-year-old said: "The problem has got so bad environmental health [officers] came round and put large silver traps in my garden to try and catch the foxes and rats. All the bait was taken, but no vermin was caught. 

"There is mould and dampness growing on my kitchen, living room and bedroom walls because of water leaking through a cracked partition wall next door.

“The overgrown jungle has broken all of the fence panels so foxes and rats are just roaming in my back garden" said Ms Stevens.  

The mother-of-five has stopped her children, all under the age of 13, from playing in the large back garden as she fears for their safety.

She added: "My kids don’t go out there, I won't let them. There is excrement everywhere on my grass, it's a health hazard.

“Everything we have had to live through has been terrible. This has not been fair on my kids."

Ms Stevens and a nearby neighbour, whose shed was destroyed by a falling tree in the grounds of the derelict house, said the council has done nothing to help them.

But Cllr Clyde Loakes, deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, insists it is not the council’s responsibility.

He said: "Because this is a private property it is down to the owner to deal with these issues, but the Council has issued a prohibition order, as the property is deemed unsafe to live in, and efforts have been made to contact the owner’s family.

"We are aware that the owner is now in care and it would appear her family are unwilling to renovate or sell the property, which is ultimately the only real solution to this problem."

Neighbour Kelly Taylor says the front of the house is being used a dumping ground for regular fly-tippers and has complained to the council about the property for nine years.

She said: "I've contacted local councillors and Iain Duncan Smith and they've just directed me to the council, which has told me there is nothing they can do.

"It was so bad I couldn't even open my bathroom window because it smelt so bad.

“I've given up trying with the council. The fact is my house in unsellable and no-one will want to buy a home next to this.”

 

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Comments (5)

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9:48am Thu 10 Apr 14

myopinioncounts says...

How have the care home fees been paid? Most people are forced to sell their homes to pay if they own property.
How have the care home fees been paid? Most people are forced to sell their homes to pay if they own property. myopinioncounts
  • Score: 8

11:31am Thu 10 Apr 14

mdj says...

'... it is not the council’s responsibility'

Really? Only a short while ago we were all being asked to identify vacant properties, because the council had powers to take over any which had been empty for more than six months, and let them out.
Has this changed?
'... it is not the council’s responsibility' Really? Only a short while ago we were all being asked to identify vacant properties, because the council had powers to take over any which had been empty for more than six months, and let them out. Has this changed? mdj
  • Score: 8

12:09pm Thu 10 Apr 14

mdj says...

This can be found on LBWF website under 'Empty properties'


'Enforcement action

While the Council wishes to assist and work with owners of empty properties to bring them back into use, we will not hesitate to take action against, owners who persistently refuse to work with us and allow their property to become neglected and subject to dereliction. We do this by serving Section 215 notices under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Empty Dwelling Management Orders under the Housing Act 2004, an Enforced Sale or a Compulsory Purchase Order. This would be the last resort, but one we would consider if necessary to protect the interests of the community.'
This can be found on LBWF website under 'Empty properties' 'Enforcement action While the Council wishes to assist and work with owners of empty properties to bring them back into use, we will not hesitate to take action against, owners who persistently refuse to work with us and allow their property to become neglected and subject to dereliction. We do this by serving Section 215 notices under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Empty Dwelling Management Orders under the Housing Act 2004, an Enforced Sale or a Compulsory Purchase Order. This would be the last resort, but one we would consider if necessary to protect the interests of the community.' mdj
  • Score: 8

9:57pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Villagecranberry says...

Maybe the occupant moved out due to the rabble next door?
Maybe the occupant moved out due to the rabble next door? Villagecranberry
  • Score: 4

4:08pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Hernextdoor says...

This property was in this condition when the owner was taken into hospital the council say she is in care now who is paying for that the council should do a compulsory purchase order and make house habitable for rent
This property was in this condition when the owner was taken into hospital the council say she is in care now who is paying for that the council should do a compulsory purchase order and make house habitable for rent Hernextdoor
  • Score: 4

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