A pensioner claims the district council is wrecking his chances of selling his £325,000 home by neglecting a site once used by travellers.
Harvey Robbins (73), of Cranmore Lane, Holbeach, says travellers kept the land in a better state than the council is doing as it’s now filled with 4ft high weeds, including ragwort which is highly toxic for livestock.
Mr Robbins said: “They (the council) keep telling us that they have got it all in hand – well they have had it in hand for about six months now.
“Let’s put it this way, I would not buy it (the house) if I were to come and view it and saw the state of the land next door that the council own.”
Mr Robbins said travellers kept their plots neat and tidy and had a contractor to mow the grass, but the council has neglected the field since the travellers moved off in June 2011.
He said: “All in all it has been a real shambles. The council took ownership, I believe, in March of this year. Before that, from June 2011 to March this year, they had care and control but they haven’t shown much care and control.”
Mr Robbins said after they moved, the travellers were prepared to return to clear rubbish left behind, but the council wouldn’t allow that because they were worried other travellers might turn up and settle there.
His wife, Fiona, told the council she would clear the hazardous waste if the authority would give her some industrial gloves, but that wasn’t allowed either.
Mr Robbins said he had a good relationship with the travellers, and used to give them fruit from his trees, but accepts he wouldn’t have been able to sell his house with them camped on the field.
“We were told with the travellers there, it would have been valued at £150,000,” he said.
But the couple expected to be able to sell with the council taking over ownership of the site.
Mr Robbins said: “We are fed up with it to be honest. It’s gone on too long.
“If it was my property and I left it in that state, the council would soon be on to me to clean it up especially as it is supposed to be agricultural land and there’s ragwort growing there.”
The Robbins want to sell up so they can move to a new home on the Somerset/Dorset border.
The Free Press contacted South Holland District Council yesterday.
A council spokesman said: “We accept that the Cranmore Lane site is currently untidy, but we are committed to improving that and measures were in hand before we were contacted by the Press today (Monday).
“The site is scheduled to be flail mowed and then sprayed tomorrow (Tuesday).
“There are some trees at the edge of the site which also need to be cut down. A request for this to be done by utility firm Western Power has been lodged and accepted, and we’re awaiting to hear when the work will be carried out.
“One load of rubbish from the site has been removed in recent weeks and the rest will be dealt with as soon as possible.”