A company has been hit with a £5,000 fine after failing to clear "piles" of rubbish and rubble outside properties in South Tyneside.
Cardscreen Ltd, which owned properties in Beach Road, South Shields, was handed the fine after failing to comply with notices given by South Tyneside Council.
South Tyneside Magistrates Court was told that the properties were formerly run as a house of multiple occupation, but after that closed, a major construction project started there before stalling.
The council served two statutory notices on the company, whose registered office is in Larkspur Terrace, in Jesmond, Newcastle.
The notices required the owner to dispose of the refuse, building rubble and general waste to a registered waste disposal site, and to build a barrier between the yard and the road to prevent fly tipping on the land.
The court was told that when an officer inspected the area one month after the notices were served, nothing had been done to clean the area or erect a fence.
The council took the company to court, and magistrates found the case proven in the defendant’s absence.
The company was fined a total of £5,000 for failing to comply with the notices and ordered to pay a total victim surcharge of £500 and total costs of £200.
The company was also ordered to pay compensation totalling £1,044 to cover the council’s costs in clearing the rubbish and erecting the fence.
A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “Piles of rubbish – especially on such a prominent route for visitors – create a bad impression of the borough and can pose a serious health risk.
“Prosecution is always a last resort but we will take action to keep our neighbourhoods clean and tidy.
"These significant fines reflect the gravity of this case and should send out a strong message to deter others from ignoring statutory notices.”