London, Jun 25 (ANI): A retired florist, who planted a flower garden on a neglected patch of land in a car park, has been threatened with criminal prosecution by a council.
Jayne Bailey, 60, had wanted to give the concrete island on her housing estate a makeover as the cobblestones had come loose and which she thought were dangerous.
But after she removed the loose cobbles and planted flowers in a display that has been supported by some of her neighbours, Cornwall County Council ordered her to remove them and to replace the cobbles, or pay for remedial work.
"In a letter I have been told I have 28 days to replace it or they will come out and do the work and send me a bill," the Telegraph quoted the elderly lady from Bodmin, Cornwall, as saying.
"They also threatened that they would go to the police and report me for criminal damage. This is bureaucratic madness. There are people out there spraying graffiti and I get into trouble for actually making the place nicer," she said.
Bailey said the island had been a crumbling mess, covered in weeds and rubbish for about 30 years.
"Some of the local children had taken to removing the cobble-stones to play with because it was in such a dilapidated condition," she said.
"It now hosts an assortment of sun loving plants suited to that area which are all thriving. The centre piece is a eucalyptus with other plants such as jasmine, buddleia and fuchsias, which were all planted on a budget and designed to fill that space over the coming years with minimal maintenance," she explained.
Naomi Luke, a neighbour, said: "It looks a lot nicer. It was disgusting before. Now it is somewhere everyone can enjoy and looks pretty."
A spokesman for the council said: "In this particular case no agreement was sought to carry out the works. Several complaints from residents have been received concerning the planting."
He indicated, however, that there could be a compromise.
"A council horticulturist has been asked to look at the suitability of the planting," he added. (ANI)