A COUNCILLOR has said heavier fines should have been imposed on a landlord whose property has become a dumping ground.

Residents called for action after fire broke out at number 14 Langdale Drive, Colchester, in 2016 and left the house uninhabitable.

Ever since then the boarded-up home and its back garden have been used by flytippers.

The landlord was fined more than £2,000 after the case went to Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court in July.

Colchester Council officers traced the owner of the property who had been renting the address to private tenants.

However, residents say the problem has still not been resolved and have issued new calls for action.

In the latest fly-tipping incident, a large chair was dumped in the back garden.

Gerard Oxford, of the Highwoods Independent Group, said he has been chasing Environmental Health for years for action to be taken.

He said: “The £2,000 fine should have been more severe and as it has not been brought back into use a further fine should be brought in.

“We have had Environmental Health out to have a look after reports of rats and vermin, and residents are rightly upset.

“We are constantly speaking to the zone team to get the fly-tipping removed, but it’s all at a cost to the taxpayer.

“It’s usually the front garden where rubbish is dumped but as the back garden is fenced off we can’t legally go in and take anything.

“I have asked officers to see if they would consider a Compulsory Possession Order so the council can bring it back into use and let it.”

A spokesman for Colchester Council said it was still trying to get the issue resolved.

He said: “We are currently considering a number of appropriate actions to deal with the ongoing problems at the address.”