Home for disabled Brighton pensioner is refused planning permission

Posted On 05 Sep 2011 at 8:06 pm

A wife and mother from Brighton has been told that she cannot build a specially adapted bungalow to care for her disabled husband.

Christine Ponsonby, 67, of Surrenden Holt, Brighton, wants to build the two-bedroom property in the grounds of her existing home.

Her husband, retired engineer Wilfred, 73, has Parkinson’s disease, and she said that she was trying to plan ahead as his condition is expected to worsen.

But Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee turned down her application to use vacant land next to her flat.

It said that the single-storey home “would result in a harmful loss of openness in this section of Surrenden Road” and be “a cramped form of development”.

Dozens of neighbours contacted the council about the plans, with 35 letters of support and 23 against.

Supporters said that the proposal would allow a disabled person to remain living at home with his family, keeping health care costs down.


They pointed out that there was a lack of housing for severely disabled people.

They also said that that the proposed building would respect neighbouring properties and be eco-friendly.

Opponents said that the building would change the character of Surrenden Holt and mean the loss of an open space.

They said that the property would stand out and look ugly, unbalancing the entrance to Surrenden Holt and could lead to future pressure for additional height to the building.

At least one objector suggested the possibility of future property speculation.

Mrs Ponsonby, a mother of two and grandmother of seven, said: “We’re a family looking to the future, trying to look after a disabled person.

“That’s all our aim is. We’re not looking to build something and sell it for a profit.

“Almost all the people who live close to us have supported it.

“It’s not like there are many homes for disabled people.

“For us, to use a spare piece of land like this is a good idea.”

The family said that they had liaised with the council to come with a sustainable home designed in a way that was not intrusive.

They have six months to decide whether to appeal against the planning committee’s decision.

  1. jean mc sorley Reply

    Thats a disgrace the people concerned should be ASHAMED, her husbund worked all his life for his home , and to be treated this unfairly is SHAME ON THEM,, GOOD LUCK TO YOU BOTH, I HOPE THEY SEE SENSE,, jean,, northern ireland…

  2. John Rogo Reply

    Build it anyway! Then watch the council spend shed loads of public money trying to follow correct procedure to have it taken down, only to give up!
    Especially, when the legality of this decision is brought into question….sounds like a human rights and discrimination case to me.

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