Council Secures Closure Notices

Council Secures Closure Notices

The tenants of two flats in the Sandy Lane area of Worksop, as well as known drug users who were frequent visitors, have been banned from the properties for up to three months after Bassetlaw District Council secured Closure Orders.

The flats on Sandy Lane and Trent Street have been boarded up to prevent anyone entering them, following legal action from the Council as a result of persistent anti-social behaviour and suspected drug taking at both properties.

A Closure Order for 60 Trent Street was served on the tenant, Deborah Manning on Wednesday 7th November. It is now an offence for anyone to enter the flat before 8th February 2019.

A Closure Order for 41 Sandy Lane was also served on the tenant David Hughes on Thursday 6th December. It is now an offence for anyone to enter the flat before 4th March 2019.

Should anyone enter either property before these dates, the offence is punishable by a period of imprisonment of up to 51 weeks, an unlimited fine or both.

At Trent Street, large numbers of known drug users were seen visiting the flat throughout the day and night and between 17th April and 18th June, the intercom buzzer to No 60 Trent Street was activated almost 1,500 times, compared to an average number of 68 times for other flats over a 63-day period. The visitors also buzzed other flats asking to be let in, interrupting residents’ sleep and causing disruption to their daily lives.

The residents were also fearful for their safety and their property should they not allow the visitors to enter the block.

In addition, residents were subjected to verbal abuse, witnessed fighting and foul and abusive language, security at the flat was compromised with the external door being left open, and a strong smell of urine was apparent in the communal areas.

In August, after the tenant had temporarily abandoned the flat, Housing Officers visited the property and found a number of known drug users inside, along with evidence of drug use and unsafe smoking practices.

At 41 Sandy Lane, known drug users were found to be sleeping rough, with drug paraphernalia, evidence of fires being lit and human excrement being found in the communal areas of the block.

Residents had also witnessed visitors in a drug induced state exposing themselves, being verbally abusive and threatening to damage property.

These visitors caused constant nuisance and would shout to gain the attention of the tenant, buzz the intercom of neighbouring flats at all hours. The residents reported they were too scared to refuse access to the visitors and were fearful of reprisals should they not let them in.

In a final attempt to gain access to the second floor and bypass the security doors, visitors would stand on an external wall and pull themselves up to the first floor in order to gain access to the flat.

The impact on residents was such that it severely affected their mental health, impacted on their professional lives, made them apprehensive to leave their properties, and left family members too scared to visit their relatives due to the activity that was taking place.

Both tenants had been offered support in a bid to resolve the issues and help them to sustain their tenancies. Prior to the Closure Notices being secured, the tenants had received warning letters highlighting the breaches of the terms of their tenancy agreements.

David Armiger, Director of Regeneration and Neighbourhoods at Bassetlaw District Council, said:

“Residents in this area were forced to suffer daily disruption and torment at the hands of the numerous selfish individuals whose relentless behaviour was simply driven by drug use.

“The tenants of these properties showed no regard for their fellow residents and despite the support of Housing Officers and other agencies, they refused to take responsibility for their behaviour and the behaviour of their visitors.

“The Council has used the legal powers available to us to take action against the tenants and prevent anyone from entering the properties. This has significantly reduced the levels of anti-social behaviour in this area and I hope that these Closure Orders will allow the residents to return to a normal and peaceful life.”

Last Updated on Monday, February 4, 2019