Council house tenant used garden as scrap yard
By Bethany Winter | 14th April 2023
A council house tenant who used his garden as a scrap yard and stored offensive weapons, including axes in the property, has been evicted by court order.
Mark Peto had 'made his neighbours' lives a misery' in Woodview Road, Cam, near Dursley, Glos, said Stroud District Council, which obtained the Possession order at Gloucester County Court.
A spokesperson said: "He was evicted on March 22, 2023, following a hearing a Gloucester County Court on February 9, 2023, where Stroud District Council was granted a Possession Order for the property."
"For several years he used his property and garden as a scrap yard, storing flammable materials outside the property. In February 2022, Gloucester County Court granted a civil injunction order requiring Mr Peto to remove items from the property and garden.
"A power of arrest was later added to the order in May 2022, and offensive weapons including axes were found at the property and removed by police.
"He refused to clear the outside of the home, so Stroud District Council removed more than four tonnes of scrap metal from the rear garden. Council officers worked with both the police and fire officers to try and resolve this matter. After careful consideration the council made an application for possession.
"Neighbours have had to live with the risk of flammable materials being stored against their property as well as being unable to sell their homes due to the eyesore. When approached by council officers Mr Peto was aggressive and was sent to prison in June 2022, after breaching his injunction order by assaulting a council officer.
Cllr Mattie Ross, chair of housing committee at Stroud District Council said: "Over a prolonged period, Mark Peto inflicted misery on his neighbours with no thought or concern of his actions on others. Whilst we always use eviction as a last resort, the council had no option in this case but to apply to the courts for a warrant.
"This issue was finally resolved for the good of the community thanks to the hard work of all the agencies involved, for which I am very grateful."
The council spokesperson added "Stroud District Council is the only Gloucestershire local authority to own and manage its own stock of council housing for rent. Stroud District Council has approximately 5,000 homes and almost 4,000 households are on the waiting list for a council home."
Cllr Lucas Schoemaker, vice chair of housing committee at Stroud District Council added: "We are committed to providing homes for our communities - we would like to thank the residents who came forward and gave evidence in this case and for the hard work and perseverance by council staff in what was a difficult and complex case."
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