Disabled Chichester residents' walk to church blocked by fence

Tracey Hoff outside her home in Winterbourne Road
Tracey Hoff outside her home in Winterbourne Road

A disabled Summersdale resident said she can no longer walk to her local church after a fence was put up blocking a pathway.

Tracey Hoff has suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for six years and fibromyalgia for four and said she had slowly built up the strength to manage the short walk from her home to Graylingwell Chapel via a pathway.

Charlotte Webber and the offending fence

Charlotte Webber and the offending fence

However, she said the fence means she would not be able to attempt the walk, which is almost five times as far, any more.

Other residents have complained the fence means they cannot get to the park.

Homebound for a number of years, she began challenging herself to walk from her home in Winterbourne Road to Graylingwell Chapel.

She said: “It has really affected me. I don’t get out much because of my disability. I only go out a couple of times a week because it would take me ages to recover. For years I haven’t been able to do any exercise. I have had to build it up slowly.”

For 25 years, Charlotte Webber, 45, has owned a house in Winterbourne Road where she lives with her husband and two sons aged eight and ten. She said she has been able to visit Graylingwell Park with her sons to play on the green and the play park but now a fence has been put up between her estate and Graylingwell.

Charlotte said it wasn’t the first time the fence had been in place but it had not been there for a long time and only for brief periods of time in the past.

A Linden Homes spokesman, however, said the fence had been in place ‘a number of years’.

Charlotte said: “As Winterbourne Road and Maplehurst Road has many rented and housing association homes, I do feel that the fence segregates lower income families and makes them feel neglected and, dare I say, deprived when we look through the gap in the fence at the play areas.”

A spokesman for Linden Homes said the fence had been in place along the boundary for a ‘number of years’, adding: “The fence is our responsibility and we have had to repair it on a number of occasions recently. We are looking at boundary options with the local council, which may include opening the fence, to benefit as many local residents as possible.”