Man ‘trapped’ by problem pavement

Gary Lee has essentially been trapped in his own home since WDH removed a slope in the pavement outside his house two months ago.
Gary Lee has essentially been trapped in his own home since WDH removed a slope in the pavement outside his house two months ago.
0
Have your say

DISABLED Pontefract man Gary Lee claims he was trapped in his house for more than two months because of a planning blunder.

Mr Lee, who has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair, says Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) left him housebound after removing a sloped pavement outside his home on Poplar Green and replacing it with a raised double kerb.

He contacted the Express for help and on Tuesday, WDH workers took out the newly-installed kerb and replaced it with a slope.

Mr Lee, 22, said: “Before all this happened I could get in and out the house whenever I wanted.

“Being trapped and not having much of a choice, I just felt like a burden on my family who had to help me. I haven’t been able to leave the house and the loss of independence has shaken me.”

Mr Lee’s mother, Susan, who claims she had been complaining to WDH since they started improvement work on the estate in March, added: “We’re happy that contacting the Express got WDH moving.

“They’ve knocked the front of the kerb off and taken the bricks out one by one and lowered it, but they’ve not finished and the bricks are all piled up in front of it.

“I’m glad we have got the slope back in, I don’t think they would have made the effort if we hadn’t got on the case, it would never have come to light. I think their intention was to leave it.

“There’s lessons to be learned here but will they learn them?”

Mr Lee said the trouble began when he noticed the dropped kerb had been removed by builders.

He said: “When I saw them leaving this high kerb I challenged them about it.

“We were told by the architect it was on the original plan to put a drop kerb in but they ‘forgot’ to put it on the revised plans.

“I understand with this kind of work there’s always some inconvenience involved, but when it’s to this level, it’s not acceptable.

“As far as I’m concerned the access is my only way out. I need something that allows me to independently get in and out of my own house.”

Richard Forster, WDH service director for neighbourhoods, said: “We would like to thank Mr Lee for bringing this issue to our attention and we are happy to say that we have now installed the drop kerb as per the plans.

“WDH has a range of properties suited to different needs and requirements and spends approximately £2 million per year on adaptations to tailor properties to the needs of individual tenants.”