Couple ordered by courts to pay up after ‘contamination’ row

Despite accusing council of contaminating their garden with toxic chemicals couple are ordered to pay council tax by magistrates.

A COUPLE withholding their council tax after claiming the council contaminated their garden with toxic chemicals have been ordered to pay up.

Julia Daunt and Paul Fiddian, of Barnstaple, appeared at North Devon Magistrates’ Court today (Tues) to oppose a liability order being granted.

Last month the Gazette reported how the couple claimed North Devon District Council let them down following the handling of a planning application to clean up the old Barbican Close gasworks.

Six members of the public turned up to support the couple, who cited the Human Rights Act after magistrates told them they could only speak about the statutory defences for not paying, of which they admitted none applied to them.

Speaking after court, Mr Fiddian said: “We never got a chance to say anything at all; it was not what we were expecting.

“But we won’t stop, I know that much; we need to take our evidence forward.”

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Miss Daunt said they would be seeking legal advice to pursue the matter further.

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