Down in the dumps: Does council have a plan to counter persistent hoarding?

DIFFICULT TO SOLVE: Orange City Council staff will give the owner of this Windred Street house the chance to do the right thing.

DIFFICULT TO SOLVE: Orange City Council staff will give the owner of this Windred Street house the chance to do the right thing.

LIKE many councils throughout NSW, Orange City Council staff are working on a strategy to address problematic hoarding.

For several years Orange council staff have worked alongside a group of Windred Street residents unhappy about their neighbour’s messy yard and keen to see the rubbish permanently cleared away.

Despite three court ordered clean-ups in nine years, the Windred Street resident continues to deposit boxes, bags and even old car parts on her front lawn, much to her neighbours’ and council’s frustration.

Last week the property was inspected and its owner ordered to clean up the mess yet again after the area was deemed an environmental health hazard.

If the homeowner fails to comply with the order within two weeks, a team of professional cleaners will be brought in and the homeowner asked to pay for it.

Despite their vigilance, council spokesman Nick Redmond admits council staff are no closer to solving the problem.

“We’ve given her the chance to do the right thing,” Mr Redmond said.

“It’s a difficult situation, there would barely be a council in NSW which doesn’t have this issue and I understand it’s something that’s very difficult to live next door to.”

AUGUST 4: When your neighbour turns their front yard into a dump

Mr Redmond said while there was legislation in place to help address hoarding “it doesn’t always address the root of the problem”.

He said council staff are working on a strategy to address the problem in the future.

Mr Redmond said the Windred Street property was not the only hoarder’s house in Orange that had come to their attention.

“They do exist but we’re only talking about a handful,” he said.

“Problems associated with hoarding can be difficult to manage.”

Mr Redmond said hoarding was not a big problem in Orange, and not every collector could legally be asked to clean up their yard.

“A house might be untidy but it doesn’t mean it’s beaching local and state legislation,” he said.

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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