THEY bought their dream home in Great Yarmouth believing their severely disabled daughter would enjoy a better quality of life.

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But the Ledington family say they feel like “prisoners” in Kitchener Road, as the county council will not allow them a disabled parking space.

Parents Wendy and Paul and their three children relocated from the Midlands in November 2012, after falling in love with the town over seven years holidaying in Hemsby - and say attractions here are far more wheelchair accessible than in the Midlands.

But without a disabled parking space to help their wheelchair-bound daughter Selina, 13, they feel trapped.

The teenager is totally blind, suffers from epilepsy and severe global developmental delay, and the family’s specially adapted Peugeot van requires three metres of space behind it for her wheelchair ramp.

Dad Paul, 48, explained they cannot walk far with the large wheelchair as it is difficult to manoeuvre and is not fully waterproof.

And he did not expect the lack of driveway to be a problem, as in the Midlands they requested a disabled parking spot and one was painted within three weeks of the request.

He fumed: “The government has come out after the Paralympics saying it’s changed people’s views on disability, but we can’t even get a disabled parking space.

“As a holiday maker you’re catered for very well, but as locals it’s different.

“We thought they looked after their own but we’ve been shocked.”

He added he could not have wanted for better neighbours, and one even saves a spot for their car with his work van.

But people park on the road and walk into the town centre, leaving them without a big enough parking spot.

Mum Wendy, 47, said: “I know we don’t have a right to park outside the house and it’s the goodwill of your neighbours.

“Everybody pays the road tax, but when it comes to people like Selina it makes life a little bit more difficult.

“It’s about her experience in life and the more she can get out of it the more she can learn, but we can’t do all the things we want,”

The family of five - completed by brothers Stephen, 15, and Stewart, six - said Yarmouth offered them more activities than the Midlands, from simple things like getting the wheelchair into KFC to days out at family attractions.

“What other people take for granted we can have in Yarmouth,” said Wendy. “At least that’s what we thought.”

Mick Castle, councillor for Central and Northgate ward, has been calling for the county council to make an exception to the rules and allow the Ledington’s a disabled parking space.

But Robert West, highway engineer at Norfolk County Council, said: “We understand the frustration of the Ledington family but under highway legislation Norfolk County Council cannot provide parking for individuals on the public highway.

“We can only provide such facilities in public areas such as car parks and town centres.

“We realise this will be disappointing but can only suggest they erect a request for no parking sign on their property garden wall. This approach is dependant on the goodwill of nearby residents but it could help in providing a solution to the problem.”

The family say they are disappointed with this as they believe people walking into town will ignore the notice.

And they said the proposed residents’ parking scheme will offer little respite, as it does not guarantee them a space near their home.

20 comments

  • How bad must the midlands be if they 'fell in love' with Yarmouth and Hemsby!

    Report this comment

    Adam L

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

  • "Robert West .. said: “...under highway legislation Norfolk County Council cannot provide parking .." - highway legislation, as in government law? or local highway policies? the former must be adhered to but there is no law that says policies can't be overruled if the circumstances require it.

    Report this comment

    catalonia13

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • I'm also aware of a disabled space on Palgrave Road. I can understand not having disabled space for every disabled person but it sound like these people have a specially adapted vehicle which has specific space requirements. As for buying a house with a driveway thats is such a 'snobby' thing to say, homes with driveways aren't cheap!!

    Report this comment

    Bert

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • Mr & Mrs Ledington may like to advise Norfolk County Council that there are two such disabled parking spaces on Harley Road, Gt Yarmouth that I'm aware of, therefore it must be possible unless legislation has changed recently......

    Report this comment

    me001

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • theres also a disabled parking space on hamilton road.

    Report this comment

    calmudownboy

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

  • Perhaps the Council would like to explain why, on Spencer Avenue in Gorleston, they have painted a disabled space on the highway for a disabled young man entirely contrary to their comments in the article that they cannot provide parking for individuals on the pubic highway and can only do so in public areas such as car parks and town centres. As I understand it the young man’s father used to work for the Council. Coincidence? On what basis could the Council justify bending the rules for one family but not for others?

    Report this comment

    championzzz

    Monday, January 14, 2013

  • So they can't walk far with a wheelchair outside their home, but it's fine to walk with it at KFC and local attractions? Hmmmm, how about if you want the guarantee of parking next to your house every time, you buy a house with a driveway like anyone else does?

    Report this comment

    Tea&Biscuits

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • Also if you knew parking was going to be the be all end all of the deal you should have bought a property with a drive way. Guess it wasn't your "dream home."

    Report this comment

    Z:)

    Monday, January 14, 2013

  • How about all you so called local people who have commented previously give these people a break and be more supportive. In an ideal world every thing would be perfect the house the parking the better life all they are doing is trying to that all for their kids give them credit for that and the council does suck bunch of idiots trying to make an informed decision with out taking real life into consideration again.

    Report this comment

    Mmmm!!

    Monday, January 14, 2013

  • This is a genuine case - Just how difficult would it be for the 'authorities' to accommodate this family? From my perspective this is exactly the sort of thing we want our council addressing, not some of the scandalous money-wasting and 'why on earth have they approved that' deals we see regularly!

    Report this comment

    wallywalnut

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

  • Surely if you needed parking right outside your front door you would buy a house with a driveway??

    Report this comment

    timmy_two_sheds

    Monday, January 14, 2013

  • @Adam L Believe me, by comparison it's paradise here. We are pretty isolated out here on the East Coast from a lot of stuff that goes on in the 'middle' of the country - but it's coming!

    Report this comment

    wallywalnut

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

  • They also should have researched the area and realized it was run by imbiciles.

    Report this comment

    Z:)

    Monday, January 14, 2013

  • Good job guys you made an Ass out of you me because you assumed yarmouth would do the same thing as the midlands.

    Report this comment

    Z:)

    Monday, January 14, 2013

  • Robert said about not providing parking for individuals but surely any blue badge holder is entitled to park in any disabled space, just seems like a disabled parking space located near the Ledington's home would make their life easier.

    Report this comment

    Bert

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • Logic means nothing to the council.

    Report this comment

    Z:)

    Monday, January 14, 2013

  • Doesn't anyone else think these people were a bit stupid? Shouldn't they have researched parking andor dealt with the issue of parking? Seems like an important issue that should have been dealt with prior to purchase.

    Report this comment

    Z:)

    Monday, January 14, 2013

  • while i sympathise with the ledingtons situation , i was in a similar problem with parked cars outside our terrased house ,even half on pavement half on road ! until i placed a polite notice in our window . our problem was solved onernight ! maybe you should take mr west s advice

    Report this comment

    phillip mitchell

    Monday, January 14, 2013

  • Perhaps Mr West needs to look at removing the other disabled space then it is fair for all concerned!!

    Report this comment

    Bert

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • Give them a break for what? And what is a "so called local person?" I refuse to give them a break. If they want to go to the newspaper and have a good complain they should be ready for people to disagree with them. I also wont give them a break because having a disabled child doesn't excuse complaining and stupidity. I will say it again they should have researched and resolved the parking issue before buying a house if it was going to be such a big problem. Also before purchasing the house they should have researched and known the law wouldn't permit them to have a space where they wanted.

    Report this comment

    Z:)

    Monday, January 14, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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