A PENARTH pensioner has been fined more than £500 for failing to remove building materials from Sully Terrace Lane after first being served with a notice by the Vale Council more than two years ago.
Thomas Levitt Oliver, 82, had been facing a fine of up to £30,700 for failing to comply with the notice, but the fine was reduced due to his age and inability to pay.
Oliver was first served with a notice by the Vale of Glamorgan Council to remove the materials in Sully Terrace Lane in April 2011. He was fined £150 in July 2012 for failing to comply with the notice.
In August this year he was served with a further notice requiring him to remove the materials. Cardiff and Vale Magistrates Court heard on Thursday, November 7, that he had only partially complied with the notice and that scaffolding poles, tarpaulin and bricks still remained in the lane.
In a separate application the Vale of Glamorgan Council was granted permission to remove materials from Sully Terrace Lane because they were obstructing the highways.
In his defence Oliver said that he was unable to remove the goods himself after he had an accident, because of bad weather, he couldn't afford to pay someone to remove the goods and the workers that he had originally found to carry out the work had found other work.
He added that he had done “90 to 95 per cent” of the work required.
Magistrates said that he had plenty of time to remove the goods and could not use the weather as an excuse. Magistrate Wayne Mortimer added: "It's the best summer we have had for ages. You still had time to do the work.”
He added that Oliver had been made aware of the financial implications if he failed to clear the lane within the designated time.
Oliver was fined £165 with a £20 victim surcharge and was ordered to pay costs of £400, to leave a total fine of £585. The Vale Council had requested that Oliver pay £793.80 in costs.
Plymouth Road resident Roger Alban, who first raised the matter with the Vale Council in 2010, welcomed the decision but said that it remained to be seen whether the lane remained clear for long.
“We will wait and see what happens,” he said.
“This has been going on for more than ten years.”