A homeowner has been prosecuted for leaving a gaping hole in the ground at his property – a year after being ordered to restore the garden.
Sam Salvin, aged 23, had the front of the property at Rosamund Place, Bradway, excavated down three metres in anticipation of gaining planning permission to use the basement as a garage.
The proposal was among an array of changes to the two-bedroom semi-detached house, including an extension to add another three bedrooms.
Most of the changes were approved last year but the garage plan was rejected and Salvin, who lives with his parents on Birchitt Road, Bradway, was told to come up with a design to restore the garden.
Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard a notice was issued in March this year ordering Salvin to ensure the garden was restored.
But no plan has been presented and, although the hole has been partially filled in, the court heard neighbours were complaining the frontage ‘looks a mess and has looked a mess for some time’.
Salvin pleaded guilty to breaching the Town and Country Planning Act but claimed not to have seen the notice because it was sent to Rosamund Place, not his home address.
He said: “I didn’t see the notice and was only made aware of it when a copy was hand-delivered by a council officer two weeks ago.”
Salvin added: “We have landscaping plans drawn up. Significant progress has been made and the house is now a watertight shell.”
But the self-employed heating engineer said money has been tight since he lost his old job last year and he now only earns ‘a few hundred pounds a week’.
Work would have been completed sooner if he had not been made redundant.
“I am saving up to try to get it all finished,” he added.
Neighbour Bob Peacock said: “Since he has bought the property nearly three years ago, it’s been in a state.
“We just want to see the work finished and someone living there - but if he’s only earning a few hundred pounds a week, it looks like we’ll be waiting considerably longer.”
Salvin was fined £75, ordered to pay £75 costs and a £20 surcharge.