New specially adapted Stonewater bungalow will transform the lives of local family

Excitement mounted this week for the Hunt family as they joined representatives from affordable housing provider Stonewater, Herefordshire District Council and regional contractor J Harper & Sons, to celebrate construction progress on two new shared-ownership bungalows in Bodenham that will help their adult disabled son Jonathan live independently.

Stonewater and J Harper & Sons are working with the Council to deliver the rural housing scheme in Woodhouse Lane, which will provide one specifically adapted two-bedroom bungalow for Jonathan, who has agenesis of the corpus callosum, a neurological disorder affecting his mobility, and an adjoining two-bedroom bungalow for his parents Andy and Rose Hunt, Andy works managing the fruit on the estate at Lower Hope Farms and Rose works for Hereford Mencap and Hereford Council.

The modified bungalow will provide living space for Jonathan and his carers and include a hoist and track system in the living room, bathroom and bedroom to help him to move around. Wider doorways and level flooring will be installed throughout along with a wet room. The adjoining properties will include a large rear garden and a car port.

“It’s important to Jonathan and his parents that he is able to live with a certain amount of independence, whilst still being close by. They have lived together in an old farm house near Bromyard for the last 25 years and although this is fitted with specialised equipment and features to aid Jonathan in his everyday life, it hasn’t always been ideal as it was designed for able-bodied residents,” said Bob Strachan, Stonewater’s Chief Executive. “When we were contacted by the Council to help deliver this project we were thrilled to be able to help the family. We hope Jonathan will really like living in his smart new bungalow which will be equipped with everything he needs to allow him to enjoy a more independent life, close to his family and friends.”

The land that the new bungalows are being built on has been leased to Stonewater by Clive Richards, the owner of Lower Hope Farms and Andy’s boss.

“Originally we were looking to invest in a bungalow that we could adapt ourselves,” said Andy. “That was until Clive approached us and asked if we would like to build on his land. We contacted the Council planning department and managed to agree to building two affordable bungalows on a piece of land in Woodhouse Lane on the edge of Bodenham just outside of a greenbelt site. We are really grateful to Clive and are pleased that these new bungalows are being tailor-made by Stonewater and the Council to meet our family’s needs.

“The farm house was a great family home but the doorways were only just wide enough for a wheel chair and we had to have other features like the stair lift installed ourselves. We want to give Jonathan the best chance of independence possible and the special facilities in his new bungalow will be much better suited to his needs as it is being specifically designed with him in mind. Even the location is better as the land in Bodenham is much flatter which makes it easier for Jonathan to manoeuvre around and it’s close to both mine and Rose’s places of work as well. ”

The development, which is due for completion later this year, will achieve both Life Time Homes standard and Secured by Design a national police crime prevention initiative which applies good design to making people’s houses safer and more secure places to live. The new homes will also achieve a Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 efficiency rating which will help to reduce the cost of the family’s energy bills.

Councillor Patricia Morgan, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Herefordshire District Council said: “The Council was delighted to be able to help the Hunt family with their new development, which will see Jonathan living more independently. We hope he will be very happy in his new home.”