A RESIDENT had his bike taken away by the council as it was 'causing a fire hazard'.

Christopher Hill lives in a flat in Hawthorn Avenue, Greenstead.

He had a call from his neighbour on Thursday to say Colchester Borough Homes staff were taking his bike away.

When he got home the bike, which had been locked up against railings outside his flat, was gone.

A note had been left from Colchester Borough Homes, saying there was a zero tolerance policy about leaving obstructions.

Mr Hill said it was 'health and safety gone mad', as all the door mats were also taken away.

He said: "I am aware there is a problem but there is nowhere else to keep my bike.

"I live in a small flat and there are no corridors to keep it in or any posts to lock it to.

"I'm not blocking anyone else's exit.

"I don't mind the policy, but there doesn't seem to be any flexibility."

Colchester Council had said following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London, they were taking no risks.

Mr Hill said: "From my point of view I'm getting my mat back to keep inside the flat but I can't get my bike back as there is nowhere to keep it.

"There are some people with mobility scooters, are they going to take those too?

"I just want them to accommodate more reasonable requests.

"I can't cycle now, so I'll just have to use my car and I'm sure that's not what they want to happen."

The council had previously given advice to residents in flats about obstructing corridors.

A spokesman for Colchester Borough Homes said: “We are committed to upholding the highest safety standards across all of our properties.

“Following the Grenfell Tower fire, fire inspectors commenced visits to our properties to advise and support us to improve fire safety.

“All of our blocks and housing with communal areas are being inspected, and we have clear guidance to clear the communal areas.

"The vast majority of residents have been very understanding and have committed to supporting us to help keep them safe, by keeping communal spaces clear.

“Doormats may appear insignificant, but they are frequently the accelerant for a fire, can block primary access or may present a trip hazard."