Pensioners campaign for better access to town
PUBLISHED: 14:00 30 June 2013
WESTON pensioners want to knock a hole through the Victorian wall of their retirement block, to stop disabled users being 'blown over.'
A campaign has been launched by the residents of Eddington Court, in Beach Road – which has a minimum age limit of 65 – to design a better access route through Carlton Street car park and into the town.
The multi-million pound car park was designed specifically for the development when it was built last year, as part of McLaren Life’s plan to rejuvenate the shopping area.
But residents of the court are not happy with the current entrance.
Norman Greed, aged 83, has been a resident at Eddington Court for the past nine years.
He said: “The current access is like a wind tunnel, it’s not direct to the town and several people have been blown over.
“It will provide a better standard of life, particularly for those who are disabled.
“When I fell over a while ago I needed a wheelchair, and because of the walkway I was confined to the house.”
The residents have contacted North Somerset Council – now the owner of the car park – and are asking for permission to knock through a wall and create a new walkway, which will be direct to Carlton Street.
But conservation consent, as well as planning permission, would be required for this to happen.
Councillor Mike Bell has discussed this matter with the residents and is looking into a solution to the issue with the authority’s officers.
He said efforts were made to retain the wall when the car park was developed, which dates back to the Victorian era and was acknowledged formally by English Heritage in a letter supporting the development.
He said: “The council’s conservation officer is of the opinion there would be little justification to warrant demolition or further openings in the wall.
“Council officers are also concerned a new route would be costly and might pose safety issues which were not planned for when the car park was designed and built.
“I am very sympathetic to the concerns of residents. Many of them are elderly and infirm and understandably want the most simple route possible through to Carlton Street.”
Norman added the residents pay money into a contingency fund, which would contribute to the new walkway, but said many residents are even willing to pay out of their own pocket.