A furious mother-of-four has hit out after months of living in the shadow of a huge shipping container her neighbour had craned into his small back garden as a ‘storage shed’ in Hull.
The container was lowered into the back garden of her bus driver neighbour’s house, which sits between a young mother and his sister’s property next door, 18 months ago.
The woman, who did not want to be identified, says the 19-foot ‘eyesore’ has left her family unable to open windows due to ‘toxic’ smoke billowing into her home from her neighbour’s garden.
The woman said: ‘I should not have to live like this. When he lights the chimney he burns wood pallets and my living room fills up with toxic smoke that gets on your chest, even when my windows are closed.
The shipping container at the heart of a long-running feud between two families across three adjoining homes on the Bransholme Estate in Hull, East Yorkshire
The sister of the bus driver who owns the container claims that Hull City Council are satisfied its size following a request to reduce its height
An aerial view of the three back gardens at the heart of the dispute. A young mother has said the container is of equal annoyance to many of her neighbours, but this claim is refuted by the bus driver’s family
‘I am constantly having to wash my curtains as they stink of smoke.’
The mother added that the family also have to keep their curtains drawn both because she cannot bear to look at the container and to prevent her neighbour from looking in when he is on its roof.
She continued: ‘He told me he was getting a conservatory, and then that appeared, and I said ‘well that’s not a conservatory, is it?
‘He took our fence down to get it in and when he put it back up, weeks later, he took about an extra foot-and-a-half from my garden.
‘It blocks out my light and he’s forever climbing on top of it so I have to keep the curtains shut so he can’t look in.
‘He also stores wood and metal on top, which is not strapped down, and I have kids and animals that use the garden, so it’s not safe.’
However, the bus driver’s sister insisted on Wednesday that Hull City Council were ‘completely happy’ with the size of the container after he reduced its height at its request.
She also claimed the smoke was not coming from a makeshift chimney, but from a wood burner in their back garden the next house along.
The sister said: ‘He [the bus driver] asked her ‘is it all right to get it? She said “Yeah, but can you build me a fence?” So he built the fence and got that done for nowt.
‘So she had been happy with it. I burn rubbish in the back garden to get rid of rubbish and that is where the smoke is coming from.
The container that the woman claims is blocking light from entering her home and from which ‘toxic’. The family have said the council is happy with its size, though
The mother-of-four says she has made multiple complaints to the council since the container was craned into her neighbour’s small back garden 18 months ago
‘He has had the container for a while – more than a year. The council surveyor came out this time last year.’
Her husband added: ‘The way this has been reported is totally wrong. It has been so one sided and is attracting stupid comments. He just uses the container as a storage room for tools and stuff.
‘I am not here to play tic tac toe. It is just a neighbour who has nothing better to do than campaign. We have been here 30 years.’
‘As far I am concerned I am a neighbour and I do not have a problem with it. I just keep myself to myself.’
The unnamed mother, who lives with two of her children, said she has made six complaints to Hull City Council regarding the container.
However, the bus driver’s family claim he has already reduced the height of the container by two inches at the council’s request, following which a reinspection took place and resulted in a satisfactory outcome.
The bus driver’s brother in law added: ‘The council and the fire service have both inspected and said my brother in law is doing nothing wrong.
‘The smoke is nothing to do with the container any way. It is from a wood burner in our back garden.”
The family are forced to close their curtains to prevent smoke from entering the house and to stop the neighbour from seeing in when he is on top of the container
Another neighbour said: “It is not causing any problems. The woman who complains has nowt better to do. She is a mental case.
‘She has phoned the fire brigade saying the house is full of black smoke saying it was coming from the container when it was from a wood burner. It is a year old story.”
There was no reply from the house of the unnamed woman who complained to the local paper.
She claimed the council has been contacted multiple times over the 18-month period, but the family is still awaiting action to be taken against her neighbour. However, Hull City Council insists it is trying to help the family.
A spokesperson for Hull City Council said: ‘Following a service request from the resident in July 2020, investigations were undertaken regarding the smoke and also planning controls relating to the container.
‘Upon confirming the results in October 2020, the council made several attempts to contact the resident, however calls and letters were unanswered.
‘The most recent service request last week is awaiting further information from the resident.
‘Although further attempts will be made to obtain the information we need, our ability to respond to requests for service is very dependent on a good level of communication from all involved.’