An abandoned overgrown property is leaving local children terrified – and neighbours panicking that the cost of the damage to their own houses will run into the thousands.
Since the owner of the property moved out four years ago, the ivy climber plant and other foliage in the front garden has become completely out of control.
The greenery has now almost engulfed the entire house, covering all the windows and almost all of the door at the front of the property.
Neighbours fear they will be left facing thousands of pounds worth of damage to their home as a result of living so close to the property, reports the Liverpool Echo.
They also say that the chaotic front garden has been used as a dumping ground, with people even shoving their pet’s excrement into the shrubbery.
Residents living in Alfred Street in Widnes, Cheshire have described the wildly overgrown house as a minor tourist attraction and say local children call it ‘the monster house’.
They claimed that the property’s owner – who studied horticulture – had promised to deal with the green menace, but so far, nothing had been done.
They also called out Halton Council’s environmental health department but so far they have not taken any action either.
Next-door neighbour Paul Miller, compared the house to something from an iconic sci-fi novel where the Earth was invaded by carnivorous giant plants.
He said: “It’s like something from Day of the Triffids. You expect it to drag you into the garden and eat you or something.”
Funeral director Paul, 52, said the empty house’s front garden is crammed with ivy, a tree, brambles and ‘”all sorts” and people have also thrown bottles and rubbish into the undergrowth.
Dog walkers have left bags full of their pet’s excrement, and passers-by have stopped to pick blackberries.
He added: “You see people walking past and stopping to take pictures, people have said ‘you should run jungle tours’.”
Concerned about the cost that he could incur, Paul asked a professional surveyor to compile a report on the damage.
To his dismay, blockages to the gutters have caused water damage to his own property, estimated to be in the region of as much as £4,000.
Wife Beverley, 53, has lived at the property of 22 years.
She said: “I just think it’s disgusting.”
The couple have seen environmental health officers from the council visiting the property but say that no action has been taken on the state of the foliage.
She added: “The situation has become unbearable.”
“Halton Council are refusing to get involved in spite of their having legislative powers to do so.”
In a response, the property’s owner Jeff Duggan, said: “The two ivy plants will be cut down next week, I’m sorry for any inconvenience caused.”
Halton Borough Council has yet to respond to a request for comment.