'Never-ending battle' to keep sunlight in Ashfield disabled siblings' rooms

Robert and Julia Jordan with grandchildren Geneva and Toby Jordan. Skegby house where houses will be built 4 metres from the grandchildrens windows.
Robert and Julia Jordan with grandchildren Geneva and Toby Jordan. Skegby house where houses will be built 4 metres from the grandchildrens windows.

Two disabled siblings who 'light up' when they see sunlight could see it blocked by a new housing development built next to their windows.

Toby and Geneva Jordan, 20 and 21 respectively, were both born with the condition Microcephaly, meaning they cannot walk, talk, or communicate in any way, and without the his ability to see light,Toby would be completely blind.

Looking out to where houses will be built 4 metres from the grandchildrens windows.

Looking out to where houses will be built 4 metres from the grandchildrens windows.

However, one of the things they both enjoy more than anything is the thrill of seeing the sun when they wake up every morning, but this may be soon about to change.

The proposed development, on Mansfield Road, Skegby, is controlled by real estate firm Rippon, who have been granted planning permission to build houses on the plot of land immediately outside the windows of the two children’s bedrooms at the address in adjacent Pleasley Road.

The Jordan family are fighting to stop the build which will see a house built four metres away from the siblings' adapted ground-floor home.

The family has said they believe this and a possible fence will "block out the light to the rooms," which get sunlight all afternoon.

As personal care is carried out in the rooms they have said "privacy is essential."

Robert Jordan, 71, grandfather to Toby and Geneva, and their legal guardian, said: “This is like a never-ending battle between two disabled children and some profit-seeking housing developers.

"Geneva squeals with delight when the light floods into her room.

"It was a lovely field, two other people on the street who overlook it have a 13-metre gap between them and the new buildings but we have seem to be ignored.

"The windows are meant to be fire escapes but I don't think they will even work if the building goes up."

Robert and his wife Julia spent two years fighting for custody of their grandchildren after their son Mark took his own life nine years ago, aged 37.

He said: “We've campaigned against this for months, taking it to Ashfield District Council on several occasions to try show that it is against the law to build a house so close to somebody’s windows."

In Ashfield, a new house should not be built closer than 13 metres from a window in use.

The houses got the go ahead in 2016, but the family has said Rippon did come to them with options but none were 'further away from the windows.'

They were also asked to buy a strip of land for £2,500 on the contdition that a house would still be built.

The family attended a planning meeting on Thursday, April 12 were they asked the council to help.

Ashfield District Council are not going to Rippon with an alternative plan.

Rippon have been contacted for a response.

Also written by Andrew Topping