A GREEN-FINGERED resident was ordered to cut back plants in his picturesque garden because the council said they were a “threat” to passers-by.

Greg Tingey, of Woodbury Road in Walthamstow, was shocked to receive a threatening letter claiming his much-loved front garden was a safety risk.

Colourful plants have only grown centimetres beyond his wall and he insists they do not go beyond the garden boundary.

And the 64-year-old, who has lived in the house since 1948, says the council is ignoring far more serious overhanging vegetation on its own properties, such as the nearby Walthamstow School for Girls.

He said: “There's a lot of my garden but it doesn't extend onto the pavement by any significant amount - it's a matter of inches and centimetres. The footpath next to it is over six feet wide.

“The vegetation consists of a large Rosemary bush, a very large Wisteria, two small Lavender-bushes, and a white Jasmine. All decorative, and some very useful, and much admired by passers-by. It's ridiculous to say that they're a 'threat' to anyone.

“And one problem that the council doesn't realise is that the wall is slightly concave so the wall does not mark the boundary.

“But if you walk down Church Hill there are a large amount of sharp thorns spilling over onto the footpath from Walthamstow School for Girls, some of them even at the head height for a child. But they aren't doing anything about that so it seems very hypocritical.

“It's like the police ticketing a car for parking on a single yellow line while they take no notice of someone further up the road stealing a car.

"And in the latest edition of the council's rag there's a photograph of a man who won an In Bloom award, and the picture shows his plants spilling over his front wall as well.

“What I want to know is why are they threatening me?”

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