Row over fence behind home
A mother is worried that her disabled son could be endangered if the back gate to her home is blocked.
A MOTHER is fighting to retain access to the back gate of her house to protect her severely disabled son.
Lisa Fishleigh,from East-the-Water, was outraged to discover that it was proposed to build a fence right up against her back garden gate with no prior consultation.
The land behind Mrs Fishleigh’s property belongs to the Pollyfield Centre, where the Stepping Stones Pre-School is currently being built.
Although Torridge District Council confirmed there was no legal access point for the properties, which are managed by Tarka Housing, Mrs Fishleigh claimed she needed the gate as a ‘fire safety measure’.
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Mrs Fishleigh said: “I have had two fires in the house in the past three years, and both times they have been in the front half of the property.
“My 14-year-old son Kori is severely disabled and in an electric wheelchair.The only way I could get him out of the house was through the back gate.
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“I don’t have a problem with the fence being built, all I ask is that they leave enough room for me to get my son out of the house in an emergency if I need to.”
The council has written to Mrs Fishleigh and neighbouring residents, asking them to prove they use the access, as it tries to come to an arrangement with the Pollyfield Centre.
Rose Eastwood, Mrs Fishleigh’s neighbour, is also concerned about the fence being erected so close to her back garden.
Mrs Fishleigh has also written to Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox on the matter, and a spokesman confirmed that Mr Cox had written to the council to ask it to accommodate her son’s needs.
Mrs Fishleigh said: “Pollyfield was left to the children of East-the-Water, and none of us has a problem with the school being built at the bottom of our gardens, which we were consulted on, but this fence has come out of the blue.
“Some of my neighbours have the original plans to their houses, which clearly show a back gate as access.”
Pat Ferguson, manager of the Pollyfield Centre, said: “The fence is planned to go right up to their back walls; that is the extent of our plans.”