A ‘neighbor from hell’ who uses a shipping container as an extension to a home refuses to remove it – despite nearly two years of complaints.
Lillie Goddard, 45, and her children moved into a three-bed mobile home next to her home in Wiltshire, Swindon in 2019 after claiming her property had been declared unsafe for a child to live in.
She then bought the sea container to store their belongings and building materials and her main house is now rented to tenants to cover the costs of the caravan and container.
Residents say the large gray steel container and caravan has spoiled a popular public footpath and greenery since it first arrived in the summer of 2019.
Despite a barrage of complaints and enforcement notices served by Swindon Borough Council last November, they are no closer to removal.
Lillie Goddard, 45, from Swindon, Wiltshire, enraged her neighbors in June 2019 when a caravan and shipping container appeared in her front yard
A heated meeting with residents on the matter was filmed by a Channel 5 camera crew for an episode of ‘Nightmare Neighbor Next Door’ and, in another blow to the enraged locals, Lillie has now successfully appealed to planning inspection to the removal of the caravan.
She hit back on the criticism, saying, “This is the bullying of low-income people that started before there was anything in my garden, and people who are willing to change their living environment for the better.
‘The container was emptied in November and could be disposed of, but a friend disappointed me.
‘I started a study in January, but there was no funding available, so I quit in March, which completely drained my finances.
‘My husband has been ill for a long time and has less income than usual, so he cannot save. I was kicked out of work for no reason, so I am looking for work and have no benefits.
Despite a barrage of complaints and enforcement notices served by Swindon Borough Council last November, they are no closer to removal. Pictured: angry residents next to the ‘unsightly’ sea container
“No bank, government, neighbors or community has helped us financially. I create living spaces and drive the economy.
‘No construction site is beautiful, they need storage areas and access to delivery.
‘The container will go away when the banking system allows property owners to access their own assets without insane admission criteria, or I have a three-month job to fund £ 500 relocation, or in late July if my spouse gets severance pay.
‘It is very sad that people do not appreciate home renovation as a positive addition to society. With the help of the container I have created a higher standard of living at home. ‘
The planning inspection took months to decide the fate of the mobile home enforcement decision.
A heated meeting with residents on the matter was filmed by a Channel 5 camera crew for an episode of ‘Nightmare Neighbor Next Door’ and, in another blow to the enraged locals, Lillie has now successfully appealed to planning inspection to the removal of the caravan
An inspector paid a site visit earlier this year and then announced just before Easter weekend that the order should be rejected.
His decision was: “The description of the alleged violation does not tell the recipient with reasonable certainty what the violation of the schedule control is.
It is not possible for the recipient of the notification to know with reasonable certainty what is being claimed.
The enforcement notice does not specify with sufficient clarity the alleged violation of the planning control. [It] is invalid and will be destroyed. ‘
The order issued to remove the shipping container was not challenged by Mrs. Goddard and could still go ahead.
Swindon Borough Council said: ‘We fully sympathize with the frustrations of the local residents as the situation on Loxley Walk has been going on for quite some time and they want a solution.
However, we need to make sure we follow the correct process and it would not have been appropriate for us to take action regarding the sea container if we did not know the outcome of the mobile home appeal.
The board is disappointed with the planning inspectorate’s decisions, especially after many recent successes we’ve had in defending similar appeals notices.
It is regrettable that the inspector did not maintain these communications, which were rejected for technical reasons.
“The municipality wants to reassure residents that we intend to continue to work towards a satisfactory conclusion of what the municipality sees as an unauthorized development, bringing it to an end as soon as possible.”