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Mother of four’s anger as neighbor plants sea container with smoking chimney in garden

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An irate mother of four has struck after living for months in the shadow of a huge shipping container that her neighbor had lifted into his tiny backyard as a ‘storage shed’ in Hull.

The container was dropped 18 months ago in the backyard of her bus driver’s house, which sits next door between a young mother and his sister’s property.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, says the six-meter-tall ‘thorn in the side’ has prevented her family from opening windows due to ‘toxic’ smoke pouring into her home from her neighbor’s yard.

The woman said, ‘I shouldn’t live like that. When he lights the chimney, it burns wooden pallets and my living room fills with toxic smoke that hits your chest even when my windows are closed.

The shipping container is at the heart of a long-running feud between two families in three adjoining houses on the Bransholme Estate in Hull, East Yorkshire

The sister of the bus driver who owns the container claims Hull City Council is satisfied with the size after requesting to reduce the height

The sister of the bus driver who owns the container claims Hull City Council is satisfied with the size after requesting to reduce the height

An aerial view of the three backyards at the heart of the dispute.  A young mother has said the container is a major annoyance to many of her neighbors, but this claim has been refuted by the bus driver's family

An aerial view of the three backyards at the heart of the dispute. A young mother has said the container is a major annoyance to many of her neighbors, but this claim has been refuted by the bus driver’s family

“I constantly have to wash my curtains because they smell like smoke.”

The mother added that the family must also keep the curtains closed, both because she cannot see the container and to prevent her neighbor from looking in when he is on the roof.

She continued, “He told me he was getting a conservatory, and then that showed up, and I said, ‘Well, that’s not a conservatory, is it?

“He took down our fence to get him in and when he put it back up weeks later, he took about five feet out of my yard.

“It blocks my light and he climbs on it forever, so I have to keep the curtains closed so he can’t see in.

“He also keeps wood and metal on top that isn’t tied up, and I have kids and animals using the yard, so it’s not safe.”

However, the bus driver’s sister insisted on Wednesday that Hull City Council was “completely happy” with the size of the container, after reducing its height at its request.

She also claimed that the smoke was not coming from a makeshift chimney, but from a wood stove in their backyard the next house.

The sister said: ‘Hey [the bus driver] asked her ‘is it okay to get it? She said, “Yeah, but can you build me a fence?” So he built the fence and got that done for now.

“So she was happy about it. I burn garbage in the backyard to get rid of garbage and that’s where the smoke comes from.

The container the woman claims blocks light from entering her home and from which is

The container the woman claims blocks light from entering her home and from which is “poisonous.” However, the family has said the municipality is happy with its size

The mother of four says she has filed multiple complaints with the municipality since the container was hoisted into her neighbor's small backyard 18 months ago

The mother of four says she has filed multiple complaints with the municipality since the container was hoisted into her neighbor’s small backyard 18 months ago

“He’s had the container for a while, over a year. Last year the municipal inspector came by.’

Her husband added: ‘The way this has been reported is totally wrong. It’s been so one-sided and attracts stupid comments. He simply uses the container as storage space for tools and belongings.

“I’m not here to play tic-tac-toe. It’s just a neighbor who has nothing better to do than campaign. We’ve been here for 30 years.’

‘As far as I’m concerned, I’m a neighbor and I have no problem with it. I just keep myself to myself.’

The unnamed mother, who lives with two of her children, said she has filed six complaints with Hull City Council regarding the container.

However, the bus driver’s family claims that he has already lowered the height of the container by five centimeters at the request of the municipality, after which a re-inspection has taken place and has led to a satisfactory result.

The bus driver’s brother-in-law added: ‘The council and fire brigade have both checked and said my brother-in-law is not doing anything wrong.

‘The smoke has nothing to do with the container in any way. It comes from a wood stove in our backyard.”

The family is forced to close their curtains to prevent smoke from entering the house and to prevent the neighbor from looking in when standing on top of the container

The family is forced to close their curtains to prevent smoke from entering the house and to prevent the neighbor from looking in when standing on top of the container

Another neighbor said: “It’s not causing any problems. The woman who complains has nothing better to do. She’s a mental case.

“She called the fire brigade to say that the house is full of black smoke and that it came from the container when it was from a wood stove. It’s a year old story.”

There was no response from the home of the unnamed woman who complained to the local newspaper.

She claimed that the council had been contacted several times during the 18-month period, but the family is still awaiting action against her neighbor. However, Hull City Council insists it is trying to help the family.

A Hull City Council spokesperson said: ‘Following a service request from the resident in July 2020, investigations have been carried out into the smoke and also planning checks regarding the container.

“After confirming the results in October 2020, the municipality made several attempts to contact the resident, but phone calls and letters went unanswered.

“Last week’s most recent service request is pending further information from the resident.

“While further efforts will be made to obtain the information we need, our ability to respond to service requests is very dependent on a good level of communication from all concerned.”

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