Accrington 'car hobby' man told to clean-up

Cars outside Gerard Buckel's home

Cars outside Gerard Buckel's home

First published in Hyndburn Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Education reporter

A MAN who stored unlicensed cars and tools outside his home for several years has been ordered to clear up his driveway.

Hyndburn Council had issued numerous notices to self-employed Accrington builder Gerard Clifford Buckel after fed-up neighbours complained about his hobby of fixing up cars in the quiet street.

Mr Buckel, who had been brought before Hyndburn magistrates for the third time by Hyndburn Council, was advised to sell his cars to pay the thousands of pounds accumulated in fines.

Magistrates found him guilty of ingoring notices requiring him to remove all waste, stored materials, vehicle repair equipment and unlicensed cars from the front of his home in Whitewell Road.

The 54-year-old pleaded not guilty but offered no evidence in his defence. Having heard from the council that the notice had not been complied with, the court found him guilty.

Mr Buckel had previously been ordered to pay more than £2,000 in respect of two similar prosecutions and in court claimed that ‘playing on cars’ was a hobby and that he used one car ‘a couple of times a year, just to drive something different’.

Magistrates then ordered Mr Buckel to pay over £1,200 in fines and costs and advised him to remedy the breach and also settle his debt to society by selling the unlicensed cars.

Deputy council leader Clare Pritchard, who oversees environmental issues, said: “I want to pay tribute to the many residents of Whitewell Road who raised concerns with their ward councillors.

“They even offered to help Mr Buckel tidy his land, but he refused.

“Mr Buckel’s obstinacy has caused them several years of avoidable distress and so I’m really pleased that the court has acted firmly in support of his neighbours.”

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