Watch tour of Jam’s garden and home ahead of prison sentence

Posted on - 17th July, 2016 - 5:09pm | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston News, University campus, Videos

The final day for Jam and his garden have arrived.

A community open day has been held for Prestonians to look round 55 Harrington Street.

Jam Imani Rad will start a six month prison sentence from Monday (18 July) for breaching the terms of his tenancy with Community Gateway Housing Association.

Alex from South Ribble went down to see what it’s like in the garden which Jam has lovingly created in the shadow of the University of Central Lancashire campus during the past 11 years.

A judge ruled there were health and safety risks associated with Jam’s creation and the ceramic tiling inside the house – which is owned by the community housing association.

A statement at Jam's garden

A statement at Jam’s garden

Nearly 6,000 people have signed a petition calling on Preston MP Mark Hendrick to step in and help reverse the decision.

The house and garden have been featured in Channel 4’s Britain’s Weirdest Council Houses.

A statement from Gateway said: “The Judge found that Mr Rad had carried out clear and repeated breaches of his tenancy agreement by carrying out extensive works to the communal garden and the interior of his property without permission. He also found that Mr Rad had breached the legal undertaking subsequently issued by the Court in March 2016 and agreed to by Mr Rad.

“CGA would like to clarify that the work carried out by Mr Rad is to a communal piece of land, not his own private garden. This was not only a breach of tenancy, but also the subject of complaints from other neighbours. CGA has been flexible and granted retrospective permission on several occasions, on the condition that no further work took place. However, Mr Rad has persisted in repeatedly breaching agreements, leaving CGA with no choice but to involve the courts again.

“Mr Rad’s disregard for what CGA and the courts have asked of him, and his persistence in carrying out further work, has led to a significant amount of damage to both the interior and exterior of the property, which will have to be paid for by income from other tenants; money that could be spent elsewhere and invested in our properties and communities. An example of this is cost of removing electrical works which do not meet appropriate safety standards and have not been certificated by a qualified electrician; this is potentially dangerous and puts not only Mr Rad but his neighbours at risk.

“To be clear, CGA is not against tenants making improvements to their homes, so long as they obtain permission in advance, comply with their tenancy agreement, and do not cause damage as a result.

“We are pleased that the Judge specifically noted in his findings that CGA has never ‘ordered’ Mr Rad to flatten, destroy, demolish or level the garden as has been claimed in the past, but has asked him to remove a number of items for which he had not gained permission, some of which have safety implications.”

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