Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Disabled girl's Paralympic dream 'could be wrecked'
A DISABLED teenage archer could risk missing out on her paralympic dream after concerns were raised about a make-shift target range in the garden.
15-year-old Rebecca Griffin, from Benfleet, has cerebral palsy and her family were devastated after they were told the range built by her dad was in jeopardy.
The family, of Clarence Road, were contacted by a Castle Point Council planning officer last month and were told the council had received complaints after the 10m by 2m wooden shed was built to shield her from the wind.
Rebecca’s dad Tony said he was told a building less than 15 square metres could go anywhere in the garden although if it was over that it had to be one metre away from any boundary.
Mr Griffin, 43, said: “I was disappointed and annoyed to be told by the council that the obstruction was an eyesore. Obviously I didn’t intend it to be built to be an eyesore but to help Rebecca practice on a day-to-day basis, which is what she will need to do if she wants to go to the Paralympic Games.
“I wanted to make her something that would mean she could practice safely and without intrusion. If people are concerned about it I would be happy to speak to them directly but it is a shame they went straight to the council.
“I will always support Rebecca and try to help her in any way I can.”
Rebecca is one of the country’s most promising archers. She is currently being fastracked through a specialised programme and could compete at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, representing Archery GB, and trains at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, in Shropshire, Rebecca has had cerebral palsy since she was 18 months old but discovered her love for archery in an inter-school sports day at Thundersley Primary School.
She has been a member of Chelmsford Tudor Rose Archers for the previous four years and has designs on representing Great Britain in the coming months.
The Echo asked Castle Point Council for a response and they confirmed permission was granted for a garage back in 2011, although Mr Griffin denied this.
The council added a neighbour had complained about the height but no further action was taken and it was “unlikely to take further action” meaning the building could stay.
Comments are closed on this article.