We've lived next to ivy-covered hell house for years – it attracts rats & hooligans but council STILL hasn't intervened | The Sun
RESIDENTS have told of their horror at living next to an ivy-covered "hell house" that attracts RATS.
The abandoned end-terrace is covered to the eaves in ivy and brambles – with rubbish piled high in the garden.
The house in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, is so overgrown a tree is growing through the bathroom window.
Rats and stray cats are drawn to the ever-growing filth, and vagrants have flocked to the deserted property to cause trouble.
Next-door neighbour Tony Lowe said the house had been bought at auction about 13 years ago. But the illusive owner hasn't been seen since.
Tony, 75, told The Sun: "He said he would be bringing his wife to live with him.
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"That was the last we saw of him.
“The damp is coming through to our house. You can smell it.
“I am waiting to have my kitchen replaced, but there is no point at the moment.
“A stray cat had to be rescued by the RSPCA who had to break in and they said anything could be living in there.
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“It’s terrible having to put up with the mess.
"I have to go and cut down the vegetation myself, but I get cut by the thorns.
“I am worried by what may be happening to my foundations. The council said call in a surveyor, but how am I supposed to pay for all that.
“I just had to spend £800 getting my garage sorted after the vandals trashed it.
“The house is an absolute magnet for vandals. The pebble dashing has come off the walls with them throwing bricks at it.
“I couldn’t even sit outside in the summer because of all the flies.
“If I wanted to sell up, no-one would buy with next door in that state.”
Site manager Steve Denham – who lives opposite the house – said: "A nice couple used to live there who used to look after it, but it has been empty for at least 10 years.
"Now it is covered in ivy and rubbish and dog dirt, with rats coming in and out.
"It is an eyesore and public health danger, especially to the kids who break in and smash it up.
"We are forever having to call the police round.
"There is even vegetation growing inside the house. Why would a house owner allow it to go to rack and ruin like that?
"It’s a real shame as all the other houses in the street are in good order and well maintained.
"It is the only one that really lets the area down."
Another neighbour, aged 79 who asked not to be named, said: "It is just horrible. I would move if I could, but I can’t at my age.
"It is disgusting especially when we know there are people desperate for housing."
Isaac Moffatt, aged 30, who grew up in the street where his parents still live, said: "It looks like a jungle and there are real structural concerns for the direct neighbours, especially when the chimney breast crashed down.
HOUSE OF HORRORS
"If the owner isn’t interested in the property, he should just sell it."
Sarah Bower, a 34-year-old mother of three, said: “It is frightening with the mess and when people break in.”
Barrow Borough Council issued an enforcement notice to the owner, ordering him to fix the issues.
But residents fear the landlord will ignore it.
The council's notice reads: "It appears to the Council that the property has been left in an untidy condition for some considerable time.
"A search of the property on Google Street View confirms that condition of the property was poor in both 2014 and 2018.
"It is considered that the condition of the property results in an unacceptable condition and causes harm to the amenity of the residents and therefore it is expedient for the Council to exercise its powers in serving a Section 215 Unity Land Notice in order to mitigate the harm caused to the amenity of the local area."
The notice told the householder: "Remove all vegetation i.e. ivy from the front South-east elevation and North-east side elevation of the house."
The council also said the outside of the home needed to be painted and the windows cleaned and the front garden needed to be tidied.
The householder was given until October to complete the much-needed improvements.
Barrow Borough Councillor Lee Roberts, deputy leader of the council, said: "We have a process in place to deal with matters of this nature.
"I can confirm that the council has issued a Section 215 Untidy Land Notice to the owner of a property in Storey Square giving them 3 months to improve the appearance of the property, including tidying the garden and yard, which are overgrown and filled with rubbish.
"If those improvements are not carried out we will move to the next stage in the process.
"The options available to us include prosecution or completing the works ourselves with costs recovered from the property owner.
"Officers always try to engage with owners of properties where possible with a view to resolving an issue before issuing a notice."
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