Cornwall Council has said it will cut tall grass that has effectively trapped Falmouth residents with health conditions in their homes all summer - just as soon as it gets new equipment.

People living in Cornwall Council housing on Oakfield Road have watched all summer as the grass on the verge in front of their homes, and on the slopes behind, has grown taller. For as long as some residents can remember, for decades in some instances, this has been cut by council employees, but this year they were told that it would not happen as usual.

They told the Packet that in previous years the job had been done by workers using lawn mowers attached to ropes, to allow them to access the steep banks without risk of injury,but this year they had been told it could not be carried out in the same way.

The council has said that it had ordered new machines to make cutting the slopes safer, but its order had been delayed.

Dorita Avery, who lives in one of the houses, said she has been getting hayfever symptoms this summer, despite having never having suffered with the allergy before. She said her eyes have been getting itchy, and it has affected her breathing: "My throat gets so dry I can't even cough. I want to cough and I can't."

She continued: "I keep pestering them [the council] and pestering them. All they say is they are going to get a gadget to do it.

"We're all just waiting, we're all feeling the effects of it.

"The workers are fine, but they daren't do it because it's health and safety. But what about our health and safety? I've never felt like this before."

Another resident said they suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - a health condition that affects breathing - and the effects of the grass pollen were really bad for his chest, while it was getting worse as the plants came into flower.

He added that the long grass "doesn't look very good for the community."

Cormac, which is responsible for cutting the grass, said it had bought new grass cutting machines to enable operatives to work more safely, which were due to arrive last month, but due to other councils also putting in orders at the same time the delivery had been delayed.

A spokesperson for the company said: "The risk of operatives slipping on the grass banks in Oakfield Road has been causing concern and we have been evaluating a number of different methods to overcome this.

"Delivery of a new remote-controlled mower is due in the next few days, and cutting in this area will be made a priority."