This policeman was horrifically injured in the line of duty...now 100 neighbours have said they don't want his home to be adapted so he can leave hospital (From Echo)
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This policeman was horrifically injured in the line of duty...now 100 neighbours have said they don't want his home to be adapted so he can leave hospital
A POLICEMAN horrifically injured in the line of duty cannot return home after councillors rejected plans to adapt a bungalow for him in Thorpe Bay.
Former Special Constable Reece Clarke, 21, has been waiting to go back home from a special rehabilitation unit in Surrey, where he has received treatment for severe brain injuries sustained in a police car crash in Basildon two years ago.
His father, Steve, applied to extend his new bungalow in Thorpe Hall Close, Thorpe Bay, so a nurse could give Reece the round-the-clock care he needs, but Southend councillors threw out the plans on Wednesday, fearing they would spoil the look of the upmarket area.
Planning officers backed the proposal to add a two-storey extension to the back of the bungalow, which already has a room in the roof, and extension to the front.
But 13 of 17 members of the development control committee voted down the conversion after almost 100 neighbours signed a petition objecting to it.
Councillors from across the political spectrum lined up to defend the character of the culde- sac, whose bungalows were designed by notable Southend architect and builder FW Goldsworthy.
Ron Woodley, Independent councillor for Thorpe, said: “This application isamisguided attempt to turn a characterful bungalow into a full two-storey house. The provision of roof lights to the first-floor rooms and obscure glazing illustrates the unsatisfactory nature of this development.
“It beggars my understanding as to why somebody would spend so much converting a bungalow into a sub-standard two-storey house when there are so many houses available.”
Fay Evans, Conservative councillor for Belfairs, said: “These are Goldsworthy bungalows.
Old Mr Goldsworthy would be spinning in his grave if he knewwhat was happening.”
David Garston, Conservative councillor for Southchurch, who admitted he had considered moving to the close, said: “This would put extra stress and strain on Thorpe Hall Close, which already suffers problems with parking.”
Steve Clarke will lodge an appeal against the decision on Monday.
An independent planning inspector assigned by the Government will decide the appeal.
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