DISTRESSED residents have been losing sleep after stacks of shipping containers tower over their gardens.

Neighbours of Old Chase Farm, in Danbury, have been left “extremely upset and stressed” by stacks of up to four containers looming over their land and creating an eyesore for them in their homes.

Described as looking like “Harwich port in a tiny village”, plans were approved for the storage of mobile homes, motorhomes and caravans in 2001 and the site has been used for those purposes since then.

The approved plans include unrestricted open storage, which also allows for shipping containers.

It was only in September 2023 that the storage containers began being delivered to the farm and stacked at the rear of their site, in view of neighbouring homes.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: 'Eyesore': containers as seen from a neighbours garden'Eyesore': containers as seen from a neighbours garden (Image: Public)

Neighbours say they were not aware that anything other than caravans was allowed to be stored on the site.

They spoke with the council, who confirmed there was no height restriction on the containers.

A neighbour to the site said: “We are extremely upset and stressed with this recent activity.

“We are suffering from anxiety over this and struggling to sleep. We purchased this property to be in a rural area and all we can see now in the back garden are containers.

“There is a significant increase in HGV traffic on the road, delivering and removing containers.

“The activity on the land moving containers around, using the now permanently resident crane and stacking containers to the height of our house within feet of our boundary is noisy and disruptive.

"This has also decreased the value of our house significantly.”

The council has now closed the planning enforcement case on the property.

A spokesman for the Chelmsford City Council planning enforcement team said: "In September 2023, the council received an enforcement complaint about the storage of containers at the land known as Old Chase Farm.

“Officers carried out a site visit to establish whether a breach of planning control had occurred. Officers witnessed around 23 containers on the land, including some stacked adjacent to the western boundary.

“The site has a detailed planning history, including a certificate of lawfulness which was issued in 2001 which confirms the lawful use of three parcels of land within the wider Old Chase Farm Site as storage.

“During the site visit, officers noted that seven of the containers were located outside of the parcels of land confirmed as having a lawful storage use as part of the certificate of lawfulness.

“Following the site visit, officers raised the siting of the containers with the landowner. The containers were subsequently relocated to within the lawful storage area.

“As such there was no breach of planning control and the planning enforcement case was closed."