MORE neighbours are getting grouchy about their gardens after they too learned theirs were being auctioned off by Essex County Council.

Residents living off Elm Road, Arcadia Road, and Upper Avenue, Bowers Gifford, were shocked after finding their front gardens will be going under the hammer at a London auction next week.

Despite having tended the land for almost 50 years, the families face having to pay a minimum of £4,000 for the three plots, after the authority decided to put the land up for the highest bidder.

To make matters worse, the plots are “landlocked” – meaning buyers will have to trespass on the neighbours’ properties in order to gain access to the site.

Geraldine Davies, of Upper Avenue, Bowers Gifford, said: “We’ve looked after this land for all these years, kept it from getting overgrown and the council always knew we were using it. We have lots of proof on our part of the work we’ve done there.

“Now, to put it up for sale without even having the courtesy to let us know someone else could own the land on our doorstep, or to offer to let us buy it first, is ridiculous."

A county council spokesman said: "While we appreciate the residents' situation, the land concerned is Essex County Council land, and this would have been made clear when the houses were bought."

Last week the Echo reported how four families in Marine Parade, Zider Pass and Beck Road, Canvey, learnt their gardens could be going after they had a glossy brochure dropped through their door advertising the land for sale.