A military crane parked in an Oxford street has attracted a barrage of criticism from angry neighbours.

They say its appearance is the last straw in a long-running battle over a fleet of vehicles parked outside their homes.

Nicholas Kravchenko drove the former Army engineering vehicle into St Peter’s Road, Wolvercote, last week and has refused to move it, claiming there is nothing to stop him leaving it there.

However, other residents says its presence is antisocial and intimidating.

They have appealed to Oxford City Council to take action to get it removed.

The council and Mr Kravchenko are already embroiled in a court battle over cars and trailers he had parked in St Peter’s Road and nearby Ulfgar Road.

Paul Harvey, of St Peter’s Road, said: “The whole situation is unbelievable. There’s a limited number of spaces on the street and this tank is taking up a number of them.

“It has been put here purely to wind up the residents. It’s so incredibly antisocial.”

However, Mr Kravchenko, who drives the vehicle for his own pleasure and plans to display it at shows and charity events, has defended his right to park in the street.

He said: “I’m being harassed by residents making false claims to the police and council to the purpose of preventing me from my lawful and peaceful enjoyment of my life.

“I’m fed up with it. I can go out and drive it any time I like. There’s no law to stop anyone having 10 tanks.

“The council have not said it’s antisocial and the police would have been straight on to me if it was parked illegally. It’s not intimidating, because it’s a square box with a Rolls-Royce engine in it and it doesn’t stick out in the road.”

Oxford City Council removed five trailers, a Ford Sierra, a Land Rover and some scrap metal on September 1 last year, after declaring them abandoned.

But Mr Kravchenko appealed and on February 1, Oxford County Court ruled the cars must be returned to him.

The crane is parked directly outside Debbie Tyson’s home in St Peter’s Road.

She said: “I have to look at that thing every morning. It’s a disgrace. I can’t believe there’s nothing that the authorities can do.”

The council said its hands were tied as the vehicle was roadworthy and taxed and there were no parking restrictions in the road.

Council officers will meet residents and Mr Kravchencko this week to try to resolve the dispute.

War veteran David Bedford, 85, said: “It’s heart-breaking living where I do. I have to look at his filthy, broken cars every time I leave my house and it’s really getting me down.

“I don’t know what to do any more.”

Council spokesman Louisa Dean said: “We’re now working with the local community and police as well as our Crime and Nuisance Action Team (Canact) to see if we can help with this neighbourhood dispute.”

Neighbour Alan Cotmore said: “It’s a lovely area and we haven’t got through traffic, but it’s becoming a personal scrapyard. My fear is the whole road is going to be filled up with vehicles.”

Anyone concerned about the situation should call Canact on 01865 252969 or email canact@oxford.gov.uk