Revised plans to convert home for couple’s sick child rejected

Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.
Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.

A Ponteland couple have spoken of their devastation after finding out that the changes to their proposal to adapt their home in aid of their disabled daughter were not enough to secure approval.

Neil and Donna Scott submitted a bid to convert the Ponteland property they bought earlier this year specifically to cater for the needs of their young daughter Amelia, who suffers from the rare condition Jacobsen syndrome.

The plans – which include converting a garage into a bedroom so the couple can be next to her room – were approved by the county council, but were knocked back by the Darras Hall Estate Committee.

An online petition calling for the Ponteland body to reverse its verdict was set up following the decision and it has been signed by thousands of people.

Following correspondence between the two parties, a fresh application was handed over last month in the hope of settling the long-running dispute.

But this was rejected at a recent meeting of the committee.

Mr Scott said that he removed a window and took out a balcony from the plans in response to neighbour comments.

He added: “We thought that with the changes made and publicity surrounding the issue, the committee would have found the revised application acceptable, so we are devastated that it has been turned down.

“We need the conversion to happen as soon as possible because Amelia is getting bigger by the week and she has been suffering from tonsillitis and a type of flu – things which take her much longer to recover from as her immune system is not as strong as it would be if she was a healthy child.

“We are awaiting a response to our solicitor’s latest letter to the committee before deciding what to do next.”

A letter from the Darras Hall Estate Committee to the Scott’s solicitor states: ‘The Committee are sympathetic to your client’s situation and understand that the existing property is already in breach of Byelaws.

‘However, the Committee feel unable to sanction further breaches of Byelaws just because of previous decisions.

‘In light of observations and objections received from neighbours and the fact the amended plans still breach Byelaw 9(d), the Committee made the unanimous decision to reject the application.’