Wheelchair user claims bollards leave him a prisoner in his home in Bridgham, near Thetford

A disabled RAF technician has threatened legal action against his housing association after he claimed new bollards had left him a prisoner in his own home.

John Grady said Flagship moved him and his wife into a specially-adapted bungalow in Risley Close, Bridgham, last July because arthritis and injuries from a road crash 10 years ago left him using a wheelchair.

The 48-year-old, who previously lived in Swaffham, said they need to drive their car across a patch of grass to their front door to allow him to get in and out of the house.

However, he said four bollards, designed to stop people parking on the grass, were installed on Friday April 14, even though he had warned Flagship they would block his access.

Mr Grady said: 'I'm a prisoner in my own home. I can't leave my home or do anything.


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'The only reason for me taking the property on is I need disabled access. Why have a disabled property with hand rails and showers without being able to get access to the property? They might as well have put me in the top floor of a block of flats.'

Mr Grady, who was a RAF propulsion technician for 12 years, said he was unable to use a footpath to access parking behind the properties because his wheelchair was too wide.

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A Flagship spokesperson said: 'Mr Grady, along with other residents of Risley Close received a letter dated 26 October 2011, to inform everyone that bollards would be installed. There is no recorded correspondence, conversation or telephone call to suggest that Mr Grady was not happy with this situation.

'Since this notification, his community manager has spoken to him on numerous occasions and Mr Grady did not bring the matter to our attention.

'Residents of Risley Close have been unhappy with the condition of the grass for some time and brought this matter to Flagship's attention as people had been driving at high speeds over the stretch of grass, damaging the turf and creating a safety hazard for pedestrians.

'We were sorry to hear that Mr Grady's wheelchair was too wide for the surrounding footpath. Flagship was unaware of this issue, so we will be in touch with Mr Grady to address this matter.'

Mr Grady said he was always careful when driving on the grass, and said he has contacted a solicitor in Thetford to take the matter further.

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