August 18, 2022 12.23 pm This story is over 14 months old

Frustration as council installs gate too small for lawnmower

The grass has been growing wild for months

Council tenants have been left frustrated after a blunder saw a new gate installed which was too small to get a lawnmower through.

The grass in the communal area of Cannon Street flats in Lincoln hasn’t been cut since at least May.

It has turned into a jungle up to three feet tall.

The gate has now been replaced with a bigger one – although the garden is still wild and unusable as it awaits its first cut in months.

An overgrown bush in the communal area is also blocking all light to one resident’s bedroom, and she says it poses a fire risk.

The previous gate on the Cannon Street flats (picture taken in May) | Photo: LDRS/Submitted

Liberal Democrat Abbey ward Councillor Clare Smalley says the problems at the flats are “not acceptable”, and she’s been trying to get the council to fix them for several months.

Residents discovered around May that the new gate to the communal area was too narrow for the contractor’s lawnmower to get through.

The grass quickly got out of control, with litter and empty drinks cans accumulating in it.

The council say that both the overgrown bush and the grass will be tended to as soon as possible.

The bush completely obscures the window behind it | Photo: LDRS/The Lincolnite

The woman whose ground-floor window is obscured by the bush said: “I’ve been asking for something to be done for three years, but nothing’s happened. It was being maintained by other neighbours, but now it’s been neglected.

“We need the bush gone. It’s a safety risk – if there’s a fire, I’m clearly not getting out of that window.”

She was also disappointed that the grass had been allowed to get so long.

“We could be sitting outside with our neighbours on table and chairs. Instead, it’s overgrown and covered in litter,” she said.

“I was glad to see the gate being changed about a week and a half ago so they can finally get in and cut it – it doesn’t seem to have happened yet though.”

Resident David Matzk, 69, said: “There used to be volunteers to cut the grass, but they moved away and I’m not a spring chicken so I can’t do it myself.

“With it being so dry, isn’t it a health and safety risk to have all that dry grass right next to housing?”

He added that the overgrown bush’s branches made it difficult to walk down the path while carrying shopping or bin bags.

Councillor Smalley said: “It isn’t fair that residents haven’t been able to use their communal area for the whole summer. I was first contacted about this in May, and have asked repeatedly for something to be done about it.

“If it hadn’t been so dry, the grass could well have grown even higher and caused more problems.

“The overgrown bush is a long-running issue which I have been trying to get fixed. It isn’t acceptable that residents have to put up with these problems.”

Residents haven’t been able to use the overgrown garden | Photo: The Lincolnite/LDRS

The council have promised to resolve the issues soon.

A spokesperson for City of Lincoln Council said: “A works order was raised with our contractor to remove the bush located at 44 Cannon Street some time ago. We have raised this again as a priority and are committed to ensuring this is completed as quickly as possible.

“With regards to our communal area, our contractor was previously unable to access the grass due to the size of the gate.

“This issue has now been resolved and we have instructed our contractors to cut the grass as soon as possible.”