People living next to Oxford's shark house say they are concerned about the state of the property.

The shark in Bill Heine's house in New High Street, Headington

The house, which is owned by BBC Radio Oxford presenter Bill Heine, has overgrown trees and bushes, cracked paint on window frames and faded, ragged curtains.

Mr Heine says he still lives at the house in New High Street, Headington, but neighbours say it is almost uninhabitable.

Ritchie Butters, 27, of New High Street, a channel manager for a telecommunications company, said: "I thought someone was squatting there. I don't understand how he could live there."

Mother-of-two Karen Hann, 37, of New High Street, said: "If I lived next door, I would be concerned about it. I feel sorry for the next-door neighbours and the effects on their houses."

Another resident, who declined to be named, said: "I am happy about the shark, but something should be done about the state of the house, it lowers the tone of the street."

Mr Heine installed the shark without consent in 1986 and Oxford City Council later refused planning permission.

He appealed to the Government, and then planning minister Tony Baldry, who is MP for Banbury, allowed him to keep the fibreglass sculpture.

Oxfordshire county councillor John Power was the then chairman of the city council planning committee that refused the shark.

Mr Power said: "Mr Heine kept claiming it was a work of art, but it's no longer a work of art, it's a dilapidated eyesore."

Mr Baldry said: "Mr Heine's appeal was heard by an independent inspector and I saw no reason to overturn his decision. You make a planning decision at the time it comes before you."

City council spokesman David Penney said building control inspectors could inspect a property if a resident feared it was unsafe, but no-one had complained about the shark house.

In 1994, Mr Heine was issued with an abatement notice after damp from the house spread into his next-door neighbours home, causing one of the worst cases of penetrating damp environmental health had ever seen.

Mr Heine declined to comment on the state of his house. He said: "The house is not empty, I live in it. I am there every day, I talk to my neighbours, I water my plants, I wash my clothes."