- Ken Mould, 50, left plants to grow so long his house became hidden
- Mr Mould lived in the covered house with his wife, Diane, 50
- He was fined £1,000 in February for refusing to trim the ‘eyesore’
10:50 EST, 11 December 2013
11:34 EST, 11 December 2013
A man who who was fined for refusing to cut back ivy and weeds he let grow on his house for ten years has finally cut them off.
Ken Mould, 50, left the plants to grow for so long that the house was virtually hidden from neighbours. It became so overrun that his chimney could not be seen over the foliage.
And the wilderness extended so far
forward from the house, in a cul-de-sac in Rugely, Staffordshire, that
the shape of the building could no longer be made out from the pavement.
Ken Mould, 50, has finally trimmed the hedge (left) that engulfed his house (right) after ten years
Before: Mr Mould was fined £1,000 by Stafford Magistrates’ Court after refusing to trim his home on council orders
After: Ten months on, the house has become visible after Mr Mould cut back the ivy and weeds
But, despite the fact the roof and first-floor windows were entirely hidden under the ivy, Mr Mould continued to live in the house with his wife, Diane, 50.
Then, in February this year, he was fined £1,000 at Stafford Magistrates’ Court after ignoring council orders to trim it.
Almost a year on, he appears to have finally complied with the order, and the house can now be seen in full.
planning officer Mazer Aqbal said Mr Mould had been ordered to get rid
of the ivy from the front of the property, including the windows and
He was also told to remove all vegetation from his garage roof at the back of the house and to clear the front lawn.
Despite the fact the roof and first-floor windows were completely covered, the Moulds lived in the house
The family were able to access the house, with the front door visible underneath the foliage
He said: ‘Basically he has been told to make it look how you would expect a house to look – at the moment you can’t tell whether you’re looking at the front or the back of the building.’
The breakthrough will come as a relief to neighbours who have described the ‘nightmare’ of living next to him and expressed surprise that the couple and their daughter were not embarrassed by its appearance.
Neighbours described the nightmare of living on the same street as the father-of-one.
James Partridge, 35, said: ‘It’s a relief he’s shaved it off, that was an eyesore to live next to for so long.
‘I don’t know how they lived in there, must have cost a fortune in lighting.
‘The windows were completely obscured, I wonder if he’ll leave it now again or keep it trimmed.’
Then first floor windows in the house are now visible after the plant growth was trimmed this year
One resident, who did not wish to be named, said in February: ‘That thing brings down the house prices for all our street – it’s an eyesore’
One resident, who did not wish to be named, said in February: ‘That thing brings down the house prices for all our street – it’s an eyesore, I don’t know how they can live in there.
‘Whenever I see someone emerge from that mess I do a double take, they must either live in complete darkness or spend a fortune on lighting.
They added: ‘It’s crazy how they could let their property get into such a mess. It’s a nightmare to live by.
daughter has gone off to university – I can’t imagine her coming back,
that’s an embarrassing place to bring your friends or boyfriend back
Another neighbour added: ‘Keith’s a real character, a bit of a rebel without a cause. I do like him, but he lives by his own rules.
‘It would be a bit off-putting for potential buyers wanting to move in next door. He’s been locked in a wrangle with the council for a while now.
‘But he’s a decent bloke really – once that ivy takes hold it’s a big job to shift it. You’ve got to feel for him in a way.’