Mountfield man loses bid to overturn order at court

Scales of justice
Scales of justice

A man at the centre of a long-running dispute over property boundaries has lost his bid to overturn an order banning his unreasonable behaviour.

In March, Rother District Council served Mark Coates, of Eatenden Lane, Mountfield, with a Community Protection Notice after the authority said he failed to take notice of a warning letter asking him to stop behaving in an antisocial manner.

The council said it took action in a bid to prevent a neighbour dispute, which began after he removed a fence he believed had been erected on his property, continuing in an unreasonable and anti-social manner.

The notice also ordered Mr Coates to stop making threatening and abusive comments towards neighbours, removing fence panels and entering their properties without written permission.

Mr Coates appealed the notice and the case was heard at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on July 2.

Having heard the evidence, the court upheld the district council’s decision to serve the notice, with some amendments.

Magistrates also ordered Mr Coates to pay £1,000 towards the council’s costs in defending the proceedings.

The court said he had to restore the fence at the back of his property and enter into professional mediation to settle the dispute over his property’s boundary.

The Community Protection Notice also bans Mr Coates from confronting residents or visitors to Eatenden Lane in a way that can be perceived as hostile, including staring into neighbours’ properties for long periods.

The court amended the original notice, which had referred to his dog being aggressive, and prohibited him from making malicious complaints and sending letters to his neighbours.

Should Mr Coates fail to comply with the order he could face further criminal proceedings which may result in a fine of up to £2,500 and a criminal record.

A spokesman for Rother Distrct Council said: “We are pleased that the court has backed the action the council took to address Mr Coates’ anti-social behaviour.

“This was a good example of the police and district council working together.

“No resident should feel threatened in their own community, and the district council will continue to take action where necessary to stamp out this kind or behaviour.”