THE owners of a former care home have been fined after failing to clear up waste left in the back yard.

Complaints had been made about Oakwood Residential Home, in Fencehouses, near Chester-le-Street, because of rubbish accumulating in the back yard.

A Durham County Council neighbourhood warden visited the site, before issuing a community protection warning to Leeds-based company Goldline Estates, which owns the building, giving them a deadline to clear the rubbish.

Magistrates in Newton Aycliffe heard that the company failed to comply with the warning, a further notice and then failed to pay a £100 fixed penalty.

No representatives from Goldline Estates attended the court hearing, during which the business was fined £750 and ordered to pay costs of £454.12 and a victim surcharge of £75.

Ian Hoult, Durham County Council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: “Allowing waste to accumulate not only makes our neighbourhoods look untidy but it can cause unpleasant smells and attract vermin.

“Court is always a last resort but, in this case, Goldline Estates ignored our requests, warnings and the legal requirements of the CPN.

“We hope this serves as a warning that anyone who refuses to comply with the law could face an expensive day at court.”