Housing news

Noakes Meadow

A bespoke wheelchair-user friendly bungalow that has been constructed by Ashford Borough Council and contractors DCB.

The property, built for Mr and Mrs MacGregor to accommodate Mrs MacGregor’s disability, is in Noakes Meadow in South Ashford.

Their new home is one of a stunning pair of two, two-bedroomed bungalows.

Occupational Therapists who have seen the property during the construction phase have commented that it should be the blueprint for the type of bespoke wheelchair-friendly accommodation that ought to be built across the county.

Mr and Mrs MacGregor said they are delighted by how the Council has listened to, and addressed, their needs. The couple used to run a business until Carole’s disabilities made that impossible. Carole has cerebral palsy and type two respiratory failure. She was born with talipes, which required many operations in her childhood. She struggles with their existing rented property with its angled rooms and large garden.

The custom built property at Noakes Meadow has square rooms with a wide hallway in which turning circles will be possible for Carole in her powered wheelchair. The wet room can be accessed via two very wide doorways and the wooden flooring throughout will enable Carole to use her standing aid, something that is not possible on carpet. Sections of the internal walls could be removed to enable a hoist to be fitted in the property in due course, should Carole require one to still enjoy their home.

In the kitchen, the worktop heights can be adjusted to enable Carole to cook and wash up should she so wish and all of the cupboards are also fully accessible. The smaller paved garden is also wheelchair friendly and will enable Carole to plant in pots and enjoy the sunshine throughout the summer months.

Carole MacGregor said: “It’s just amazing, the council and DCB have bent over backwards to accommodate us. Finally someone has understood a disabled person’s every need. I have been included in the design process from the outset and am beyond pleased with the result. I am so grateful to everyone involved, not least my husband who kept pushing on my behalf to make the fittings and finish precisely what we need.”

Steve MacGregor said: “I’ve been really pleased with the excellent communication we’ve had throughout the build. The accessibility offered by this new house is in a completely different league to what we’re used to. It would be great if this project could be used as a blueprint for future builds”.

Cllr Gerald White, Ashford Borough Council’s portfolio holder for housing, said: “That we have played a part in delivering a bespoke home which will significantly enhance the way in which Mr and Mrs MacGregor will be able to live their lives on a daily basis, is something that everyone involved in the project should be very proud of. I wish Steve and Carole all the very best for their future, and putting down new roots in Noakes Meadow.”

Chris Webster, Managing Director of DCB, said: “We are delighted that Mr and Mrs MacGregor are so pleased with their new home. Working in partnership has made this possible and to know that it has all been worthwhile and will make a real difference to their lives, means it is a job well done. It has been a great project to be involved in.”


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