An abandoned crumbling house surrounded by overgrown trees and plants is a threat to a neighbours’ health, it is claimed.

The house, in Burnham Road, Chingford was abandoned more than three years ago after the bed-ridden owner, considered to be seriously ill, was taken to hospital and eventually moved into a care home.

According to Waltham Forest council, her son and carer has not taken responsibility for the crumbling building since his mother was hoisted out of the house by ambulance services.

In April 2012, the council issued a prohibition order to the son stating no-one can live in the property until improvements are carried out. 

Now the rear wall of the property has collapsed and Lisa Stevens, who lives next door says she has become increasingly frustrated by the lack of action.

The 35-year-old said: "The problem has got so bad environmental health [officers] came round and put large silver traps in my garden to try and catch the foxes and rats. All the bait was taken, but no vermin was caught. 

"There is mould and dampness growing on my kitchen, living room and bedroom walls because of water leaking through a cracked partition wall next door.

“The overgrown jungle has broken all of the fence panels so foxes and rats are just roaming in my back garden" said Ms Stevens.  

The mother-of-five has stopped her children, all under the age of 13, from playing in the large back garden as she fears for their safety.

She added: "My kids don’t go out there, I won't let them. There is excrement everywhere on my grass, it's a health hazard.

“Everything we have had to live through has been terrible. This has not been fair on my kids."

Ms Stevens and a nearby neighbour, whose shed was destroyed by a falling tree in the grounds of the derelict house, said the council has done nothing to help them.

But Cllr Clyde Loakes, deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, insists it is not the council’s responsibility.

He said: "Because this is a private property it is down to the owner to deal with these issues, but the Council has issued a prohibition order, as the property is deemed unsafe to live in, and efforts have been made to contact the owner’s family.

"We are aware that the owner is now in care and it would appear her family are unwilling to renovate or sell the property, which is ultimately the only real solution to this problem."

Neighbour Kelly Taylor says the front of the house is being used a dumping ground for regular fly-tippers and has complained to the council about the property for nine years.

She said: "I've contacted local councillors and Iain Duncan Smith and they've just directed me to the council, which has told me there is nothing they can do.

"It was so bad I couldn't even open my bathroom window because it smelt so bad.

“I've given up trying with the council. The fact is my house in unsellable and no-one will want to buy a home next to this.”


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