Residents at an independent living complex in Grays have said they have been left feeling “anxious” after being told they will no longer be able to store their zimmer frames under the stairs.

Speaking on behalf of the residents at Priestly Court was Maggie Whitbread, who said that residents were concerned after this new rule was implemented.

She said: “I am concerned for all the other residents here who feel anxious about this new rule.

“We have been told that they are going to come around to our homes and check that we haven’t been storing our pushers under the stairs.”

Residents at the independent living complex call them ‘pushers’, which are basically zimmer frames with wheels which help elderly people move around.

But now residents are being told that they cannot store them under the stairs, which is their usual choice, as Sanctuary Housing, who runs the complex, has told them that it is a fire hazard.

However, 78-year-old Maggie, who is also the mother of Olympic javelin thrower, Fatima Whitbread, is unconvinced by this argument.

She said: “They say it is a fire hazard, but I believe otherwise.

“I am enraged by this. I have been on the phone to the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and my daughter, Fatima, has said she will take the case to the show Rip Off Britain, with Gloria Hunniford.”

A spokesman for Sanctuary Housing said: “The safety of residents is our priority and we ask that they keep hallways clear of potential trip hazards in case of a fire.

“We will work with residents to find a sensible place to store their pushers and our team have already been in touch to discuss this with them.”