A pile of rubbish left behind a row of shops has been neglected by environmental health, leading to an infestation of vermin, neighbours claimed.

The mounds of garbage and food waste were allegedly left behind when Stedman’s greengrocers on the corner of Ashley Road and Station Approach, Hampton, packed up shop about a month ago.

Janine Deville, whose property backs on to the alley behind, where the rubbish was left, said she had an ongoing battle with environmental health, which she claimed failed to clear up the mess.

Rubbish has been left in the area for about four weeks and Ms Deville, 67, said it was a health hazard because an Indian restaurant also backed on to the alley.

The mess has attracted rats and foxes, while officers from the environmental health department visited the area but did not clear away the rubbish, she said.

She added: "It is surely a health hazard. I have always been very pleased with the rubbish disposal service - they come every week and take away the garbage and it is a wonderful service so I am so shocked about this situation.

"It is an environmental health issue. The garbage has now spread all over the back area and it is appalling."

She said she tried to clear up some of the rubbish herself with gloves and plastic bags.

Richmond Council said it cleared the waste and if further rubbish has accumulated it should be placed in bags so it can be collected.

A council spokesman said: "The council encourages landowners of commercial premises to take care of their land - it is their responsibility and thankfully the vast majority of people in Richmond take this seriously.

"A resident was not happy with the rubbish that was left at the site of an empty business in Station Approach that was recently vacated by a greengrocer.

"On this occasion, the council’s environmental health officers cleared the waste on the owner’s behalf.

"If further waste has accumulated since then the council urges the owner of the land to place it in bags so the council’s waste team can collect it."