Council turns down bid for ‘independent’ existence close to family home
which the ground floor is on three levels, making movement around the house very difficult’.
However, in a Spelthorne Borough Council report, officers wrote that ‘whilst the applicants would like to remain close to the original family home, this is not a very special circumstance’.
The planning committee’s reasons for refusal were that the proposed two-storey home would be inappropriate development within the green belt; would introduce an unacceptable ‘vulnerable’ category of development into a flood zone; and would have an unacceptable impact upon the character of the area by loss of openness.
Mr Gbangbola said: “Some people have said to us that it seems that this is a part of an ongoing vendetta.
“This just seems to be part and parcel of the way in which negative situations seem to be heaped.
“If I cannot get about the property then I have a very limited existence, all we were looking to do is have a better existence.
“I will just have to continue to suffer and not have independent living.”
Liberal Democrat councillor Ian Beardsmore said the borough council ‘got very picky with the decisions’.
Initially, eight reasons had been provided for refusal – but these were reduced to three during a meeting on Wednesday August 23.
Cllr Beardsmore said: “While this may be a deserving case, in the end why I couldn’t support it was because I have taken a very strong line on green belt land and cannot make exceptions.
“The councillors were sympathetic, as can be seen in the fact that we managed to reduce the reasons against the plan – a lot of which I thought were spurious.”
The design and access statement for the application addressed the issue of building on the green belt, claiming that ‘adding a modest house would not impact on the wider sense of openness of the green belt’.
It goes on to say that ‘it should be noted that the immediate surroundings has seen an explosion of new buildings since 1964’.
When asked whether the couple plan to appeal the decision, Mr Gbangbola said he was undecided.
He added: “We are thinking about what we are going to do – this is taking time and money, we simply have to suffer in silence.
“We just want to be able to exist, we do not want our history to be in any way the reason for approval.
“It is nothing in comparison to what we have suffered but it is just something that does not need to happen.”
Kye Gbangbola and his wife Nicole Lawler submitted an application for a purpose-built two-storey property close to the family home in Chertsey, which would give Mr Gbangbola more independence. He was left paralysed and his seven-year-old son Zane (pictured left) died after being poisoned during the River Thames flooding of 2014