Chesterfield Mum slams council for protecting trees which she says block disabled son's school access

The mother of a Chesterfield lad who suffers from a severe disability has hit out at the borough council over its refusal to remove a protection order on some trees which she says block his access to the school he attends.

Tuesday, 1st November 2016, 4:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:58 pm
Sharon Davis from Chesterfied is having problems getting home adaptions she needs for her severely disabled son Josh.

Josh Higginbottom suffers from asymmetric quadriplegic cerebral palsy with central hypotonia.

And his mother Sharon Davis, 48, of Ashgate Road, says the roots of 30ft tall trees are causing cracks in the playground at Brampton Primary School and putting Josh in danger while making his way to class.

“It causes all sorts of problems,” she added. “If Josh wants to use his powered wheelchair there are parts in the playground where he just cannot go safely.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“He does not have the ability to think to himself, ‘that looks dangerous, I should stay away.’

“It worries me that if we are not careful he could tip over one day.”

Chesterfield Borough Council put a Tree Protection Order on the trees after the school cut down other trees which the parents and governors believed were causing an uneven playground.

The council imposed the order after complaints from residents who insisted the trees were a local amenity.

A council sub-committee upheld the order as permanent after a meeting in June last year.

Councillor Terry Gilby, Chesterfield Borough Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for planning, said: “We have worked with the school and other parties to find workable solutions to deal with the problem of uneven playground surface while allowing the trees to remain.

“We are confident that the problems around the uneven playground surface can be resolved by measures including grinding down humps, root pruning and resurfacing work.”