Posted on: Friday 3 December 2021
A woman has been successfully prosecuted by Torfaen Council under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for causing a nuisance to her neighbours by allow dogs’ mess to accumulate in her rear yard.
Ms Donovan of 7 Elizabeth Row, Talywain pleaded guilty to the offence in Newport Magistrates Court. She was sentenced to a fine of £180 reduced to £120 for an early guilty plea, a victim surcharge of £35 and ordered to pay costs to the Council of £500.
Torfaen Council’s Environmental Health Officers responded to complaints about dog mess that had been allowed to accumulate in Ms Donovan’s rear yard. Investigations revealed that Ms Donovan had not been regularly cleaning up the mess left by her 3 dogs. This was found to be giving rise to foul smells and flies, affecting a neighbouring property. Informal attempts to engage with Ms Donovan to resolve the issue were unsuccessful, so the Council had to resort to issuing a legal notice requiring her to take action to prevent causing a nuisance.
Despite serving a legal notice, further complaints of odour and flies were reported. This led to the Council prosecuting Ms Donovan for failing to comply with the notice by continuing to cause a nuisance.
Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for the Environment, said: “when justifiable complaints of nuisance are received by the Council, officers endeavour to work with the individuals responsible to informally resolve the issue. However, where informal attempts do not achieve the desired outcome, formal action, including instigating prosecution proceedings may be necessary in the interest of public protection. In this case, Ms Donovan showed a complete disregard for the affect the conditions at her property were having on her neighbours.
“The smell of the dog mess had become overwhelming for her neighbours, and had impacted on the use and enjoyment of their property. It was right that this action was taken against Ms Donovan, and I hope that she will now alter her ways.
“I commend the work of the Council’s Environmental Health Officers, who have not only been at the forefront of the response to the pandemic, but have continued to investigate and deal with complaints to protect residents affected by environmental nuisances.”