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When access makes no sense...
Posted
#27 (In Topic #24)
Site director

admin2 in the usergroup ‘Administrators’

You have to wonder what is going on in people's heads sometimes.  No one in their right minds would build houses on land which is going to flood every year, would they?  And no one in their right minds would build houses that are going to be difficult or impossible for older or disabled people to get into - would they?

Well of course they would and do.  In Dunbartonshire the whole question of access seems to have degenerated into a complete farce where the local council have spent £40,000 building a 10 level, 195ft zigzag ramp to make a completely inaccessible property accessible!  Strangely, no one seems to be very happy with the result - apart from some local skateboarders! But don't take my word for it - make up your own mind.
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The ramp
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How anyone could think such a monstrosity would provide a satisfactory solution to the need for wheelchair access beggars belief.  Many older properties were built when issues of access were not considered relevant and this is a prime example.  Surely, it needs to be accepted that it is not realistic to attempt to make a property like this accessible and to look for a more sensible - and almost certainly cheaper - solution?  It's understandable that the tenant may not want to move, but this way they have ended up with the worst of all worlds.  And what happens when the tenant moves out at some point in the future?  The authority pays another £5000 or £10,000 to remove it!

Read the full report here

One thing we can do from these situations is to learn and not make the same mistakes again.  Fortunately, a number of authorities like Greater London and Sheffield are now requiring that all new developments as a minimum meet Lifetime Homes standards.  This means that from the outset tenants or owners can expect level access, parking, adequate turning space within the property for wheelchairs and clever features like the ability to turn a bathroom into a wet room or install a lift at minimum cost. Lifetime Homes properties cost very little more to build than other properties and they do what it says on the tin - provide a home where we can if we choose live a life time no matter how our circumstances change.

Now let's hope that the same sort of logic can be applied to flood areas and let people live in their own homes regardless of how wet it gets.



Last edit: by admin2
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