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Adapted home for disabled Travis Ransley-Warnes,11, of Shepherdswell, with help of Bridge firm.

By Sam Lennon

A mum has won her long battle to build a specially adapted home for her disabled son.

Hazel Ransley-Warnes, 46, from Shepherdswell, was knocked back when planning councillors last summer turned it down.

But the council approved a revised application and building of the new home began this week.

Hazel Ransley-Warnes at the site where a new home will be built for her disabled son
Hazel Ransley-Warnes at the site where a new home will be built for her disabled son

She had been backed by a development firm boss who admitted that he was "moved to tears" and offered to pay for the second application and the home’s redesign.

And builders who did the work helped by charging a reduced rate and all this added up to thousands of pounds being saved.

Mrs Ransley-Warnes now told the Mercury: “I am totally relieved. The first day of building was the happiest day of my life. Now Travis has a home forever.

“He may have had to otherwise go into residential care for suitable accommodation.

“People supported us thinking this lad needs to be helped.”

Travis Ransley-Warnes and his mother Hazel
Travis Ransley-Warnes and his mother Hazel

Travis Ransley-Warnes,11 is wheelchair-bound, blind, deaf and has a cleft lip and palate, epilepsy and the heart condition Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.

The original family home at the village’s The Terrace can no longer accommodate him as he is growing and had only a portable shower instead of a bathroom.

The council could not provide an alternative home so she applied to build the new one on land next to her parents’ residence at Dene Cottage in Meadow View Road.

But Dover District Council’s planning committee, at their July 21 meeting last year, voted the application out.

They believed that the development’s size, scale, bulk and design would not fit in with the area and would be intrusive and cramped.

They feared that this would cause harm to the character and appearance of the street scene and be out of character with neighbouring development.

Mark Quinn, managing director of Quinn Estates in Bridge, was so moved by the family’s plight that he offered to pay for the next application and the new home’s redesign.
He had been at that same planning meeting for another application.

Mrs Ransley-Warnes’ revised submission was approved under council delegated powers in March.

The new five-bedroomed chalet bungalow has enough room to manoeuvre his wheelchair and a high roof to accommodate equipment such as a hoist.

Mrs Ransley-Warnes, Travis and the remaining children, Sophie-Louise, eight, Holly-Nicola, seven, and Chloe-Anne Marie, six, expect to move into their new place by December.

Quinn Estates managing director Mark Quinn
Quinn Estates managing director Mark Quinn

Mr Quinn said he and his team were moved to tears by Travis’ plight.

So he authorised his firm to foot a £15,000 bill both to pay for the planning application and the design cost.

The designers, Clague Architects of Canterbury, helped by halving their charge for the work.

Its boss, Dovorian Karl Elliott was with Mr Quinn and his team were at the planning meeting last July when Mrs Ransley-Warnes’ application was turned down.

Mr Quinn told the Mercury: “It literally brought tears to our eyes.

“We met Travis and it affected us. We all thought : ‘There but for grace of God go I.’
“When you get a chance to help in a situation like this you should.

“What Hazel does for her son is incredible so what we did in comparison was tiny.”

Mrs Ransley-Warnes said she also wanted to thank Andy Bateman of architectural firm EZ-Plans of Whitfield, Dover. He is now project managing the build.

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