Disabled Portsmouth man scores victory over council decking decision

Anthony Langford with his wife Rula on the decking which enables his mobility at his Cosham home
Anthony Langford with his wife Rula on the decking which enables his mobility at his Cosham home
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A DISABLED homeowner is ‘delighted’ after government planners overturned a council demand he rip up £6,000 of decking in his back garden.

Anthony Langford installed a ‘vital’ raised wooden structure to aid mobility in and out of his house in Highbury Grove, Cosham last year.

But the 63-year-old – who suffers from hereditary spastic paraplegia – feared he may have to tear it down after Portsmouth City Council refused his retrospective planning bid for the work.

The application was submitted after a neighbour complained about the height of the decking.

Now after months of uncertainty and a successful appeal to the government Planning Inspectorate, Mr Langford said: ‘Thank God this is over.’

Reflecting on his victory, he said: ‘This just goes to show how worthwhile it is appealing if you feel you may have grounds for a case.

‘Getting this decking installed has literally changed my life.

‘It used to take me about 20 minutes to struggle up the stairs into my house, but this structure has brought that down to about two, now I can get my scooter in and out.

‘This has been a very expensive process, what with submitting various documents and an appeal, but I am extremely glad it’s nearly over now.’

After visiting his home on January 15, an inspector said Mr Langford must now put up 1.8m fences either side of his decking by April 19, 2018.

In his report, Inspector Martin Andrews said Mr Langford had a ‘serious and progressive disability’ and the decking was installed on professional advice ‘to help him manage his condition’.

He said there was no conflict with the Local Plan and it could stay if boundary screening was installed.

Claire Upton Brown, assistant director of city development said: ‘We accept the decision of the Planning Inspectorate.’