WHEN housing association workers turned up to install two new car parking spaces and signs outside her Basingstoke home, Catherine Braybrooke was not happy.
By the time they had finished, she was also less than impressed.
Mrs Braybrooke could not believe it when she opened her front door to find the newly-painted ‘visiter parking’ signs on the road outside her home in Harness Court, Rooksdown.
Not only had visitor been spelt with an ‘e’, but the two newly-created spaces were created in such a way that if a motorist parked in the space closest to her home, she would not be able to use the path to her door.
Her home is owned by Sentinel Housing Association, and was built especially for a disabled person in mind, with a slanted path up to her doorstep. But after the work was completed, the 37-year-old mother-of-six has faced a struggle to push a buggy across gravel, and up and down kerbs, just to get into her home because she cannot use the path.
To make the situation even worse, the one space is so close to her house that anyone parking there has to step on to her garden to get out of the car.
Mrs Braybrooke, who is registered disabled and suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, has lived in Harness Court with her husband Stephen and their children for three years, and said she enjoys being at the end of a row of houses because of the privacy.
But now the family face having visitors parking right outside their kitchen window. She was told by Sentinel that plans to create the spaces were in the original designs for the road, but it has taken three years for them to be installed. She added: “I said maybe they should have thought about blocking someone’s front door before they planned it. I have no disability rights and no privacy.”
Mrs Braybrooke, whose children are aged between four and 17, added: “I told my kids not to read the signs because they won’t get their spellings right at school.”
Kari Tourle, assistant director neighbourhoods at Sentinel, confirmed that the visitor spaces were part of the original plans, and residents were made aware of this when they moved in.
She said that other residents had complained that the spaces were being “misused” which was why the markings were painted. But she admitted that the marked bays are “not practical”, and added: “We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused and will be making a number of improvements including re-laying the footpath to give easier access, moving the parking bay markings further away from the house to protect the garden, and ensuring the wording is correctly spelt.”