Council bosses have backed down over a decision to turf an allotment-holder off his plot after he threatened to go on hunger strike outside Watford Town Hall.

Gareth Fernandes said he was left "shocked and distressed" at the weekend when he received a letter from Watford Borough Council terminating his plot contract at Brightwell Allotments for "non-cultivation".

However after a lengthy email exchange with officials at Watford Borough Council he has been given two weeks to get his plot up to scratch.

Mr Fernandes has complained he felt he has been singled out as his plot was not the worst maintained on the site.

He said: "I received a letter from the council on Saturday morning terminating my allotment contract. I was shocked and distressed. The letter was posted on Friday and I was at the allotment all day cutting the grass and preparing the ground.

"I was devastated, it was so unfair. I felt bullied and held to a different standard."

In April the council had sent Mr Fernandes a "non-cultivation" warning letter telling the 46-year-old he must get his plot up to at least 75 per cent cultivation or he’d lose the allotment.

Paul Rabbitts, Environmental Services Client Manager told Mr Fernandes: "As you have not done any work on your plot, as a responsible landlord, we have no option but to terminate your tenancy and a letter has been issued accordingly."

Mr Fernandes responded he had not been able to work on his plot due to bad weather and ill health.

He said the land had been cultivated last year and he "didn’t expect it to get overgrown so quickly".

The dad-of-three also accused Watford Borough Council of "harassing" and "bullying" saying other plot-holders had not received letters for allowing the allotments to fall into a similar state.

Mr Fernandes sent an email to Mr Rabbitts, saying: "You are clearly targeting me. You have gone to a lot of trouble to harass me. Why are you targeting me when I told you I was going to work on my plot?

"You are not making it easy or helping plot holders, in fact your personal selective targeting is putting off other prospective allotment holders.

"I could have been down there today trying to dig and do more but I am too upset and am now suffering from chest pains."

Mr Fernandes later emailed: "I will go on hunger strike outside your office to highlight your bullying."

Since then the council has agreed to grant the two more weeks for Mr Fernandes to bring the plot to the standard required.