Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Thanks of a grateful Nation

A Royal Marine whose legs were blown off in Afghanistan has been denied a home on his granddad’s land — in case it spoils the view.

Joe Townsend’s dream of building a specially-adapted bungalow was unopposed by neighbours. The 20-year-old even went to a council meeting to beg planners to approve the idea.

But they ruled his circumstances were “not considered sufficient” to allow the building in a paddock beside the home of 72-year-old David Carter and wife Lynda, 60.

Joe — who stepped on a Taliban mine in Helmand province 11 months ago — said: “I’m gutted, really disappointed. I grew up there.

“One female councillor said something like, ‘Sod the laws, give the lad the house he needs’.

“I thought that was brilliant. It’s a shame that everybody didn’t feel the same way.”

The bungalow, including a therapy room, would have been hidden from the road at Hankham, East Sussex. It would have enabled Joe to leave the Forces rehab centre at Headley Court, Surrey, and live independently.

But Wealden District Council called it “intrusive”.

Heartbroken gran Lynda said: “These are exceptional circumstances — our grandson almost gave his life for us so we can be free from terrorists.”

Taken from MoD Oracle with thanks.