Kimbolton woman ordered to clear garden by social landlord

A KIMBOLTON woman has been ordered to clear her garden within 14 days or risk having everything seized by her housing association landlord.

A KIMBOLTON woman has been ordered to clear her garden within 14 days or risk having everything seized by her housing association landlord.

Liz Osborn, pictured, of Hunters Way, said she received a letter last Wednesday (February 23) from Luminus Group telling her to clear the patch of garden directly beneath her living room window at the one bedroom house she shares with her partner and two teenage children.

The letter said the garden items, such as plant pots, a flower bed, tables and chairs and a barbecue, were taking up too much space in a communal area for use by all tenants.

Ms Osborn claims she had permission for the vegetable patch and flower pots.

“When they visited me 18 months ago to inspect a subsidence problem, I mentioned that we wanted to put a little vegetable patch underneath the window and put out a few flower pots,” she told The Hunts Post. “They said that it was fine because the vegetable patch would be under the window in a corner plot and not in anyone’s way, as would the flower pots.”

She and her family therefore proceeded to decorate the garden outside her home.

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“We had barbecues in the summer where the neighbours were invited. There was real community spirit among us all,” she said.

“Other residents have similar things in their garden, and they haven’t heard anything from Luminus.”

Ms Osborn also claims she had a similar problem with her Sky dish.

“We mentioned we wanted to get Sky installed and, again, they told us there was no problem, so we went ahead.

“And then last Thursday an engineer turned up on behalf of Luminus wanting to take down our Sky dish and aerial without any prior warning.”

Luminus said it was responding to a complaint from another resident.

“Staff inspected the communal garden to this block of flats and found many items such as barbecues, fencing, timber and slabs had been placed in the garden without permission and were restricting its use by residents.

“We wrote on February 21 to Mr Russell who is the tenant at Hunters Way and is therefore responsible for this, requesting that the items either be stored more appropriately or, if they were no longer in use, to be removed.

“Clearly it is not appropriate for a single household to take over a communal area and, indeed, we want to encourage residents there to use the garden as much as possible.”

Luminus said a meeting would be arranged to discuss best use of the area for everyone.

The firm also stressed that it had written to tenants about Sky dishes as part of its response to the digital switchover.

“We have had a programme to replace all communal TV aerials in our blocks of flats with a system that is compatible with the new digital TV arrangements.

“We wrote to residents at Hunters Way in April 2010 to tell them of our plans and to let them know that their individual satellite dishes and other TV reception equipment would no longer be needed once we had installed the new equipment.”

New equipment has been installed, offering a full range of stations and digital providers, the firm said.