A MESSY eyesore that has blighted a Park South street for almost two years is still no closer to being removed.

And the homeowner’s successful appeal against the removal of one unsightly structure has delivered another blow to furious neighbours.

People living nearby complained that a shipping container and caravan spoiled a public footpath and green on Purley Avenue. The mobile home first popped up in a Loxley Walk front garden owned by Lillie Goddard in the summer of 2019 and the shipping container arrived the following December.

TIMELINE: Shipping container row in Park South - the story so far

Swindon Borough Council served enforcement notices in November 2020 to remove both of them but Ms Goddard appealed the one against the caravan – and succeeded.

She and her two children moved into a three-bed static caravan because, she claims, the property had been declared unsafe for a young child to live in. She then bought the shipping container to store their possessions and building materials inside. She told the Adver last year the house was being rented out to tenants so she can pay for the cost of the caravan and container.

Ms Goddard said: “This is bullying people in low income, which started before there was anything in my garden, and people willing to change their living environment for the better.

She added: “The container was emptied ready for removal in November, but a friend let me down on that.

“I started a study course in January but there was no support funding available so I stopped in March, draining my finances completely.

“My spouse has a long-term illness and less income than usual so can’t save. I’ve been kicked out of work without reason so am looking for work and have no benefits.

“No bank, government, neighbours or community have helped us financially. I create living spaces and drive the economy.

“No construction site is pretty, they need storage places and access to delivery.

“The container will go when the banking system allows property owners to access their own assets without insane eligibility criteria, or I have a job for three months to finance £500 removal, or end of July when my spouse gets redundancy payment.

“It is very sad that people do not value house renovation as positive addition to the society. I created higher living standards in the house with the help of the container.”

The planning inspectorate took months to decide on the mobile home enforcement order’s fate. An inspector carried out a site visit earlier this year and then announced just before the Easter weekend that the order should be rejected.

Its decision read: “ The description of the alleged breach fails to tell the recipient with reasonable certainty what the breach of planning control is. 

“It is not possible for the recipient of the notice to learn with reasonable certainty what is alleged.  

“The enforcement notice does not specify with sufficient clarity the alleged breach of planning control. [It] is invalid and will be quashed.”

The order made to remove the shipping container was not appealed by Ms Goddard and could still go ahead.

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “We sympathise entirely with the frustrations of local residents because the situation at Loxley Walk has been going on for a considerable amount of time and they want a resolution.

“However, we must ensure we follow the correct process and it would not have been appropriate for us to take action in relation to the shipping container when we did not know the outcome of the appeal on the mobile home.

“The council is disappointed with the decisions received from the planning inspectorate, particularly following many recent successes that we have had defending similar notices at appeal.

“It is regrettable that the inspector did not  uphold these notices which were dismissed on technical issues. 

“The council would like to reassure residents that we intend to continue working to achieve a satisfactory conclusion to what the council considers to be an unauthorised development to an end as soon as possible.”