SUSAN Boyle has revealed she prefers to live amongst her friendly neighbours in the old council house where she grew up.
This is despite reports that the singer had officially moved into her new £300,000 five-bedroom villa round the corner in Blackburn, West Lothian.
It is understood the Britain’s Got Talent star moved in to the plush new place in September last year – but last week she was spied strolling along Yule Terrace with a frozen pizza in her shopping bag to the bland council house she has lived in since birth, claiming she was “off inside to make her tea”.
Susan holds strong ties to the house as after her father Patrick passed away in the 1990s, it is where she cared for her mother Bridget until she too died in 2007 at the age of 91.
Following her mum’s death, neighbours reported that Susan, the youngest of four brothers and six sisters, refused to leave the house or answer the door for three or four days.
When asked why she was still at the family home rather than staying at her shiny new pad, Susan replied: “I like both of them.
“But I like it here. I know all my neighbours here and they are dead friendly.”
And her neighbours on Yule Terrace say they are keen to keep the singer.
They appear to have adopted a ‘neighbour hood’ watch scheme when it comes to Susan – as many of them offer security by monitoring the singer’s every move.
One neighbour from across the road came out to let reporters know she had “just nipped down to the shops” and would “probably be back in five minutes”.
Peter Easton, who lives on the street, said: “We’re happy to have her here.”
But it is a different story at the plush new villa five minutes away, where a hostile neighbour came outside to tell reporters they were trespassing on private land.
He muttered: “I’m not having this all the time!”
Susan’s new house appears to be completely empty, with no sign of life behind the blinds.
Another neighbour there said: “There’s nobody in there. That house is empty.”
The singer has opted out of staying there even though a Lothian and Borders Police station is situated across the road.
And although her new place is just a stone’s throw away, experts say that the soon-to-be-50 star is using the old house and the neighbours who surround it to give herself a feeling of security.
Mona McKinlay, a counsellor and psychotherapist based in Comiston, Edinburgh, said: “The first thing that comes to mind is that she has undergone such a huge change in her life and this means she will have a need for boundaries and safety – it’s really crucial.
“It is about keeping a sense of togetherness.
“Susan will need the safety of boundaries because her life has changed so dramatically in the past couple of years.
“It is not just her house, it’s her home, and it brings safety in association.
“As humans, we live with a great deal of uncertainty in life and are often apprehensive about the future.
“Susan’s house where she grew up is one thing that she knows will stay constant, because this is where things are in place.
“The neighbours on her street are the people she feels safe with and she will feel like she’s part of a community that she’s always known. This can be very comforting when everything else is changing.
“Obviously now she will be travelling a lot and meeting many different people who are living with fame on a daily basis, but her neighbours represent safety.”
The new house is detached, making it much more isolated than the old one, which is the last house on a long terrace.
Susan has decided to stick to her humble beginnings, despite the Yule Terrace house being raided by an intruder just over a year ago.
The international star had returned to the Blackburn house with a friend at around 10pm on 26 January, after helping to record a charity song for Haiti.
She found the intruder half way up her stairs and he quickly flew past her, leaving her “very shocked” but unharmed.
Susan had picked the new pad because it was so close to her family home.
At the time, she said: “I am still a part of the community I love and grew up in.”
The singing sensation said she “can’t wait” to celebrate her 50th birthday on Friday.
This week a devoted fan travelled all the way from Texas to hand Susan homemade quilt which had the names and locations of over 500 supporters from around the world.
Carol Rand, a 63-year-old grandmother-of-three, who lives on the Gulf Coast, spent five months stitching the quilt, and obtained permission from Scotland’s most senior catholic Cardinal Keith O’Brien, music mogul Simon Cowell, and singer Donny Osmond, to have their names sewn on.
Mrs Rand travelled around 4,500 miles for the five-day trip, which included watching Susan perform at the Scottish Variety Awards in Glasgow, before handing over the mammoth gift at a lunch in Livingston the following day.
She said: “At first, Susan was absolutely stunned when she saw how extraordinarily large the gift bag was. Then she was utterly delighted when she opened it and began looking at all the names.”