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Rubbish absentee homeowner leaves neighbours dealing with stench in Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 August 2019

This mess at a house in Highgrove Road is causing a stench for nearby residents in the summer heat. Picture: Luke Acton.

This mess at a house in Highgrove Road is causing a stench for nearby residents in the summer heat. Picture: Luke Acton.

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A rubbish neighbour has left a Dagenham family suffering because of their waste.

Outside the home in Highgrove Road, where the apparently absent owners have left a mess in their back garden to fester. Picture: Luke ActonOutside the home in Highgrove Road, where the apparently absent owners have left a mess in their back garden to fester. Picture: Luke Acton

Litter has piled up in a garden at a corner of Highgrove Road as the owners are apparently absent.

It's left Michael Walsh and his family living with the smell coming from the nearby garden, which backs onto theirs, for almost a year.

Mr Walsh lives with his partner Lousie Neal and their six-year-old daughter, Ruby, in a two-bed council home in Marlborough Road.

Earlier in 2019, their daughter was hospitalised with a chest infection that they're worried came from the piles of litter.

Michael Walsh with his six-year-old daughter Ruby and his partner Louise. Picture: Luke ActonMichael Walsh with his six-year-old daughter Ruby and his partner Louise. Picture: Luke Acton

The garden wasn't always like it is now. The family said the rubbish started piling up just after they moved into their home in June last year.

"When it's really, really hot, like it has been, then the smell kicks up," said Louise.

"People come round for parties and they see it and it's embarrassing.

"We want it all gone and sorted out.

Bags of rubbish at the house on Highgrove Road. Picture: Luke Acton.Bags of rubbish at the house on Highgrove Road. Picture: Luke Acton.

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"We don't want our daughter getting ill again because of it."

She added that she has asked the council to do something about the mess, but so far nothing has happened. She even contacted her MP, Dame Margaret Hodge.

"They seemed like nice neighbours when we moved in.

"I never thought they were going to leave all their stuff out there and do all that."

The family had been thrilled at first to get the home. They were on the waiting list for around six years before they moved into the Malborough Road house. They had been living in Louise's mother's prior to that.

"We were happy when we got the house," said Michael. "There's just a lot more space."

But now he's worried about the future.

"It smelled like the back of a dustcart. When we get the hot weather again, it's going to cause rats to come in."

A spokesman for the council said: "We agree with the resident that untidy gardens are completely unacceptable.

"While the legal process means untidy gardens can't be fixed overnight, the residents responsible will be served with an enforcement notice by Monday, August 19 at the latest, to kickstart the legal process to get it cleared up as soon as possible."

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