A businessman was threatened with ‘hefty fine’ for fly-tipping after he cleared winter leaves from his driveway.

Paul Coombes received a hand delivered letter the day after he cleared his drive with a garden vaccum warning him that if he did not stop blowing leaves into the street he would be reported to trading standards.

Ellesmere Park Residents Association, in Salford, said a number of residents in the area were concerned that leaves were being blasted into the area’s tree-lined avenues at a time when the council was unable to do regular street sweeps due to cut backs.

Mr Coombes, of Stafford Road, said: “The letter was hand delivered this week. I was staggered.

“I had been out with the blower removing leaves not just from my drive but also the pavement and kerb at the entrance to my home to make sure no one slips on them, as my home is opposite a school.

  

 

“To suggest it was fly-tipping is ridiculous - does that mean when trees shed their leaves in the street they are also fly-tipping?”

 

He said that in recent weeks a neighbour had had words with him while he was out using the vacuum.

The letter says ‘a number’ of residents have raised the issue of a lack of road sweeping in Ellesmere Park and that due to council cuts regular road/pavement cleaning has stopped.

 

It adds the local authority has done ‘deep cleaning’ in the last few weeks in order to clear leaves from roads and footpaths.

The letter says: “The problem of leaves is exacerbated by the fact that some householders or their gardeners sweep or blow leaves that originate in their property into the road rather than use the pink bins or bagging the leaves for disposal.

 
Paul Coombes says he received a hand delivered letter saying he will be reported for 'fly tipping'

“We have been advised that the action of depositing leaves from private property into the road/footpath is fly-tipping, and can attract a hefty fine.

“If certain residents persist in blowing leaves from their gardens we will have no alternative other than to report them to the local authority for fly-tipping.”

But a council spokesman dismissed the letter’s claim, adding: “It’s a load of rubbish. The device being used would appear to be professionally manufactured and the removal of leaves is seasonal and legitimate.

“The only grounds on which a possible offence might be committed using a leaves blower would be if it was used continually at say 3am in the morning when it might constitute noise pollution.

“In a court it would not stand up to allege fly-tipping for blowing away leaves.”

Ellesmere Park Residents' Association declined to comment.