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‘This beggars belief’ says councillor after developer’s disabled parking spaces fail to accommodate wheelchair users

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 August 2017 | UPDATED: 07:56 02 August 2017

Richard and Lynne Murton with Cllr Michael Deon Burton by the newly created access to the Mardyke Community Centre which has no ramp up to the pavement from the designated disabled parking bay. Picture: Ken Mears

Richard and Lynne Murton with Cllr Michael Deon Burton by the newly created access to the Mardyke Community Centre which has no ramp up to the pavement from the designated disabled parking bay. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

A councillor has heavily criticised a construction firm after it failed to install easy wheelchair access from a disabled parking space to a community centre’s entrance.

Richard and Lynne Murton with Cllr Michael Deon Burton by the newly created access to the Mardyke Community Centre which has no ramp up to the pavement from the designated disabled parking bay. Picture: Ken Mears Richard and Lynne Murton with Cllr Michael Deon Burton by the newly created access to the Mardyke Community Centre which has no ramp up to the pavement from the designated disabled parking bay. Picture: Ken Mears

Disabled parking spaces were created by Orchard Village, Rainham, developers Willmott Dixon last week so that wheelchair users could more easily access the Mardyke Community Centre.

But although the company created the spaces directly outside the building, it did not create a dropped kerb or ramp so a wheelchair user could move easily from their car to the entrance of centre.

Cllr Michael Deon Burton (Independent Residents Group, South Hornchurch) said: “Orchard Village and its shoddy build quality have become a London joke.

“Truly, this is a level of stupidity that beggars belief.

“They have spent tens of thousands of pounds and built it without a ramp.

“You cannot make it up. They finished last week and it’s so new they haven’t even painted the disabled lines on it.

“It’s built right opposite the front door to the community centre.

“It’s like building a room and forgetting to put the door in.

“This could only happen on Orchard Village.”

Richard Murton, 50, of Lower Mardyke Avenue, Rainham, said the issue was creating a danger for his wheelchair-userwife, Lynne, 53, who has cerebral palsy.

“She cannot get up on the pavement,” he said.

“A wheelchair user has to come out into the road, which is dangerous, and then on to a ramp. But they shouldn’t have to do that.

“The ramp should be there.”

A spokesman for Willmott Dixon confirmed a dropped kerb would provide a level access from the accessible space between the parking bays onto the footway and into the community centre.

He said the problem occurred after a ground working team tried to incorporate plans for future non-disabled parking at the same time as those for wheelchair users.

This led to a dropped kerb being inconveniently installed in a non-disabled parking space.

The spokesman added that work will now start next week to correct the issue.

He also invited residents to visit the on site office with any queries which he said staff will be happy to answer.

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