Rita robbed of her wish to be at home

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

THIS is an open let­ter to make the res­i­dents of Hilling­don aware of the in­tran­si­gence of the bor­ough in ac­com­mo­dat­ing the wishes of an el­derly per­son, who has lived in this bor­ough for 82 years and wanted to end her days in the house in which she was born and raised.

She was born Rita Hol­loway in 1934. Her two sis­ters were also born here. Her grand­par­ents and her mother, fa­ther and part­ner all died here and she has lived in Meadow Cot­tage un­til she moved out in Au­gust 2016, due to the stress caused by Hilling­don Coun­cil’s re­fusal on five oc­ca­sions, be­tween Au­gust 2013 and De­cem­ber 2014, to grant plan­ning per­mis­sion to build a ground floor an­nexe be­cause of her dis­abil­ity. This would have en­abled her to re­main in her own house and live out the rest of her days in com­fort and dig­nity.

In 1970, I ar­rived with my fa­ther, Ronald Tillyer, who was Rita’s part­ner. We came to live in Meadow Cottages with the rest of her fam­ily.

In 1975, my fa­ther com­pletely re­fur­bished the whole house.

She has now moved out with her son to Norfolk, leav­ing her last re­main­ing school friend still liv­ing in Trout Road. Rita did not want to move and was ex­tremely stressed and up­set on the day to see all her pos­ses­sions be­ing taken out.

The plan­ning per­mis­sion for this type of ex­ten­sion was re­quired for ref­er­ence only be­cause it was within the per­mit­ted devel­op­ment rights.

On five oc­ca­sions, five dif­fer­ent of­fi­cers from the coun­cil who came to view the pro­posal stated that it was well within the plan­ning guide­lines and ‘should not be a prob­lem’.

On De­cem­ber 16 2014, Hilling­don Coun­cil sent a let­ter which in­cluded the fol­low­ing para­graph:

The pro­posed devel­op­ment does not con­sti­tute per­mit­ted devel­op­ment by virtue of the pro­vi­sions of Sched­ule 2, Part 1 Class A of the Town and Coun­try Plan­ning (Gen­eral Per­mit­ted devel­op­ment) Or­der 1995 as amended by the Town and Coun­try Plan­ning (Gen­eral Per­mit­ted Devel­op­ment) (Eng­land) Or­der 2013, as the dwelling has no recog­nis­able res­i­den­tial cur­tilage, orig­i­nal or oth­er­wise, that is en­closed, dis­tinct or sep­a­rate from the ac­tiv­i­ties associated with the com­mer­cial site that sur­rounds it.

This is in spite of the fact that there is an es­tab­lished rear gar­den bound­ary fence. The five of­fi­cers who came took many pho­to­graphs of this rear gar­den show­ing the cur­tilage.

In view of the fact that five dif­fer­ent rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Hilling­don Coun­cil plan­ning of­fice have stated that there ‘should not be a prob­lem’ the plan­ning per­mis­sion has been re­fused. Nei­ther Rita nor I could un­der­stand why we had five re­fusals and we feel that there could be an ul­te­rior mo­tive be­cause the coun­cil’s duty is to the care of the res­i­dents – or is it?

RICHARD TILLYER Trout Road West Dray­ton

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