Overgrown Property

Towards Safeguarding Our Community’s Environmental Health.

Your Council is concerned about the very many risks and dangers associated to overgrown / abandoned property/vegetation. We feel it is our humble duty to contribute towards the safety and security of the members of our community, and thus we believe, it is our job to protect them, but also to educate them as to how they can best protect themselves.

What is overgrown vegetation/property?

Overgrown property is property which constitutes plants, weeds, trees and grass protruding over public pathways, or property which by the constitution of its vegetation, may be deemed to be a fire hazard, or one which has become an eyesore or likely to cause the breeding of vermins and other pests, due to lack of maintenance.

Problems associated with Overgrown Lands.

Overgrown vegetation is associated with many problems, which if ignored, can be disastrous to our community. The problems which are often associated with overgrown lands are as follows:

• Hiding place for thieves and other persons with suspicious behaviour constituting a potential hazard to neighbouring inhabitants.
• Sites commonly used by drug addicts to carry out illicit activities.
• Constitutes a breeding ground for vermins such as rats and mice which may be vector of diseases.
• In wet seasons, these lands tend to be breeding grounds for mosquitoes and this can significantly increase the outbreak of chikungunya disease in our community.
• In dry seasons these lands become a fire hazard which can quickly spread to neighbouring properties.
• Used as illegal dumping sites, which apart from being an eyesore, may be linked to nuisances such as odour, flies ( vector of disease), and feeding place for vermins.
• Overgrown vegetation protruding on public pathways may obstruct inhabitants’ access to these footpaths. Moreover they can obstruct traffic control devices thus causing a safety hazard to pedestrians and drivers.

What our responsibilities are !

Report presence of overgrown property, improperly maintained land.

Each and every resident can contribute to making our township a safe and pleasant place to live.
If you come to be aware of any overgrown lands in our township, please contact the Council with a clear description of the location of the land so that the problem can be addressed as soon as possible.

Council’s action in relation to overgrown lands.

In being satisfied of the presence of an overgrown land, through site inspection, a statutory notice is served on the owner of the land requiring him to fix the problem within a delay of 10 days. In most cases owners of lands will comply with the statutory notice. However, in some rare cases where this is not the case, Council proceeds to take legal action against the owners.

Receiving a statutory notice.

If you receive a statutory notice requiring you to clear your land of all overgrown plants, weeds and grass, you should do so by the date as specified in the notice. The land must be cleared and tidied in such a way as to be no longer a hazard in any of the above mentioned ways.

Land owner disregarding a statutory notice to clear his land

In case a land owner receives a notice to clear his land but fails to do so, Council will initiate legal action against him in line with the Vacoas-Phoenix Environmental Sanitation Regulations 2012. The maximum penalty in relation to the above offence is Rs 10,000.

Moreover, in a desire to abate the nuisance, Council will proceed to clear the land, and in this case all costs incurred to clear the land will be charged to the landowner.

How can we all help?

‘Force Vives’: The contribution of ‘Force Vives’ in a particular community is laudable. The Force Vives of any region within the township are strongly encouraged to identify overgrown lands in their regions and to initiate appropriate action to clear same. This move will surely be backed by Council in the latter providing additional resources, such as lorries.

Owners of Lands: Owners of lands are kindly required to clean and keep properly maintained at all times, their lands, so as to prevent them becoming overgrown thereby avoiding the many problems associated to it.

Identification of owners: Inhabitants of the township are kindly requested to inform Council of the particulars of the owners of any overgrown lands found in their locality. This will help Council address the problem rapidly.

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