Montrose cerebral palsy sufferer reaches impasse with Angus Council

Graham is pictured with the hot tub he hopes to build an extension for
Graham is pictured with the hot tub he hopes to build an extension for

A Montrose gardener has reached an impasse with Angus Council’s planning department over plans to extend his property.

Graham Henderson, who runs his own gardening firm, has cerebral palsy and has put in for permission to extend his home, allowing him to accommodate a hot tub in his wet room.

The hut tub helps relax his muscles, which tighten as a result of his condition, but it is currently outdoors meaning he can’t use it in the colder months, when it would be most beneficial.

Hydrotherapy treatment was recommended by Capability Scotland, who did a full medical, but the nearest pool for treatment was in Perth.

Graham explained: “Capability Scotland recommended the hydro pool but they said I’d need 18 visits each year. It’s £50 a visit, and it would be for the rest of my life. That’s when I came up with the hot tub idea.

“I put the application in and the planners said if I got letters from the doctors and occupational therapy or physiotherapy they would waive the planning and building warrant, The physiotherapist and GPs gave me letters in support but planning asked for one from occupational therapy who wrote saying it was outwith their remit.”

Graham had a hip replacement in July 2015, and is hoping that regular use of the hot tub will keep his muscles more relaxed to reduce wear and tear.

He added: “I managed from August to October but it got too cold to use outside. It’s really in the winter time that I need it the most because my muscles get quite tight in the cold weather.”

Graham, who recently had a stint in hospital, after contracting a chest infection, explained: “We think it was as a result of running in and out of the hot tub.”

The plans would see an extension of 2m by 3m to enclose the tub.

Graham said: “If it was for a few years then temporary accommodation would be fine but it’s for the rest of my life. We’ve done everything they’ve asked and more. All I’m trying for is a decent quality of life.”

A council spokesman said: “We provided guidance on receiving a pre-planning enquiry relating to an extension at a private address in Montrose but, as yet, have received no further contact or correspondence. The information needed to enable the fee for the Building Warrant applied for to be set at zero has not been provided in this instance. We would he happy for the householder to get in touch to see if we can be of any further assistance.”