STUNNED neighbour David Chapman has been told to clear up a huge pile of rubbish which isn’t his – or face the possibility of legal action.
Fly-tippers have dumped old television sets, bin liners, boxes and children’s toys in the pathway which backs onto Mr Chapman’s home in Edgeware Road, Milton, over the last eight weeks.
Mr Chapman has urged Portsmouth City Council to remove the rubbish as it is becoming a health hazard.
But the council has responded by sending him and 19 other residents who live in the area a letter which says they have until June 6 to clear up the rubbish or move it onto the road so it can be collected.
Residents have been sent the letter because as users of the alleyway they are responsible for it. The council insists it isn’t able to remove the rubbish from the alleyway itself because it would be regarded as trespass on private land.
Mr Chapman, 63, said: ‘I’m completely stunned that the council has sent me this letter. It’s ridiculous that the council can’t just remove the rubbish from the alleyway itself. It shouldn’t matter that it’s on private land. I’ve asked a couple of residents to help me move it all on the road. I won’t able to do it myself. The mess is starting to smell.’
A council spokesman said: ‘We’re trying to solve this issue but the council doesn’t have the power to go on to private land and take things away, even when it seems obvious waste. We’ve asked the owners – as far as we can identify them – to clean the waste up, or move it to the end of the alleyway for a one-off collection. If they fail to respond by June 6, we will look into alternative solutions, which may include legal action.’