A resident of RETIREMENT accommodation in Street says her shared garden is in “heart-wrenching” condition after sustaining a life-changing injury.
Lynda Lunt, 70, is the youngest person with access to the common garden, used by residents of numbers 2 to 9 of The Whithys.
She told the County Official Gazette that the garden has uneven and unstable paving slabs, slopes and “steps everywhere”, which makes it “just not practical for anyone, really – especially for the elderly and disabled”.
About a year ago, she tripped in the garden and suffered a long-term knee injury.
She now suffers from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a condition usually triggered by an injury that causes persistent and severe pain.
Housing company Aster, which manages the properties, said it was working to improve the site and that safety was a “top priority”.
But Lynda says she is still in touch with medics about the injury that caused her to switch to an automatic car and start using a scooter and walking aid.
She said, “I was in the garden and tripped over the paving slabs sticking out of the ground. I landed on my knee.”
She said another resident broke his ankle falling in the garden.
Lynda has lived in her bungalow for 12 years since her husband died, but now she has trouble using her garden, even drying her laundry.
âI have to go down the steps and a slight incline to where the clothesline is, and I have nothing to hang on to,â she said.
Residents liked to use the garden for tea and coffee and chat, but Lynda said: âWe couldn’t do it because it’s just not safe.
âThey (Aster) acted recently in the last three weeks because I kept going.
“I pay rent and I no longer have access to the garden now.
âI keep a beautiful house.
“I am very proud of my bungalow, and it is heartbreaking not to be able to go out into the garden.
“We have been fighting for about twelve months.”
Lynda’s son, who works for Airbus and lives in Lyme Regis, visited the property to take photos and videos of the garden.
This video he recorded appears to show that a handrail on the outside of his bungalow was not installed securely.
On Wednesday September 22, a maintenance crew worked on the property to secure the garden, but Lynda said the measures were “temporary” and part of the garden had been cordoned off.
A spokesperson for Aster said: âThe safety of our customers is our top priority, and we have worked at The Whithys to first secure and then secure the affected areas.
âOur maintenance team went on September 22 to repair the trails and install additional rails at the safety gate outside one of the houses.
âWe are now looking at how we can make further improvements to the garden and common areas, and we will consult with our clients to develop these plans.
“In the meantime, our Independent Living team will continue to perform weekly security checks and support our clients throughout the process.”