Father's plea to move Eastwood Park construction plans in name of son's health
A FATHER fearing for the life of his five-year-old son, who was born with no immune system, made a last-ditch plea to halt potentially lethal construction work at Eastwood Park metres away from his home.
The conference centre in Falfield is hoping to demolish its outdated structures to build one state-of-the-art training hub as well as 20 homes on the estate.
But the plans have drawn a swell of opposition from villagers and local politicians alike.
Although supportive of enhancing the facilities and tearing down the obsolete buildings strewn around the estate, resident Tim Cawood, along with his neighbours, begged councillors and staff to consider erecting their new hub closer to the listed mansion, where a training block currently stands.
Moving the construction work as far away as possible from his cottage, situated near Eastwood Park's garden centre, would keep his poorly son James out of immediate danger.
Speaking to members of South Gloucestershire Council's development west committee on Friday, he said: "I have a disabled child who is today in hospital having chemotherapy. He is at serious risk of infection.
"If building work took place spores would be released into the air. We have been told by Great Ormond Street that it would be a significant risk for demolition work to take place."
When in hospital James, who is immuno-compromised, is confined to a sealed filtered hospital cubicle with conditioned air to eliminate any risk of infection.
But Eastwood Park staff's reassurances that every effort would be made to keep his son safe failed to sway Mr Cawood.
"The only reason he was allowed to stay at home is because we live in the countryside away from dust and dirt," he added.
The new hub would be erected on The Hutted Camp, a one-hectare area of land in the south of the estate formerly used as Army barracks.
Eastwood Park said the bespoke facilities would enhance the quality of teaching provided at the site.
The move was blasted by Falfield Parish Council, who branded the new housing development an overpriced "gated community" much too far from transport links and unsuitably located off the A38 junction.
They also argued that the camp was supposed to be restored to agricultural land when the barracks were removed.
Parish chairman Jane Hathway said: "It would be like a gated community and these are not houses that anybody could afford in the area. We are very concerned about the use of the hutted camp. We are also concerned about flooding in the area."
Councillors will debate the application and make a final decision at Thornbury's South Gloucestershire Council office on Thursday, August 29 (2.30pm).
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