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Tingdene - Mobility Special

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE-BASED Tingdene Homes offers a bespoke layout and specification designed to suit individual needs and it looks to how best accommodate needs and usage for the client and carer.

The company told me that it strongly believes that the needs of the client are paramount, and works with carers and specialist health practitioners, such as physiotherapists, to provide suitable solutions to meet the ongoing needs of the client.

It is in the best interest of all that any design needs are incorporated into the specification process at an early stage. “It’s very important and we would encourage people to discuss their ideas and how they live their lives now and how they would like to live their lives in the future, in order to provide a solution that meets their needs,” a company spokesman told me.

Mobility-friendly aspects that can be incorporated into Tingdene homes include:
• Low threshold exterior doors
• Extra width exterior doors
• Verandas built into home floor plan
• Low-build chassis requiring less ramp elevation (dependant on plot requirements)
• Tall windows
• External grab handles
• PIR and dusk-till-dawn exterior lights
• Preparation for site-installed hoists and rails, by agreement
• Wide internal door ways
• Light switch and power point positions tailored by specification, or positioned with DDA recommendations
• ‘Pad’ electric light/switch operation.
• Lever and presence-sensing taps
• Tailored kitchen design, including adjustable worktops, foot/knee space beneath work areas, movable storage units, high level ovens
• Integrated high and low-level appliances
• Document M compatible WCs and bathroom/shower room layouts, including grab handles by recommendation or requirement
• Low-level and level-deck shower trays, in conjunction with shower screens and/or half-height doors and curtains
• Wall-mounted folding or portable shower seats
• Side entrance baths
• Raised toilets with back rests
• Wall-hung basins
• Panic buttons and assistance alarms
• Thermostatically controlled taps
• Sliding wardrobes and doors (where design permits)

Tingdene’s floor plans can either be adapted from standard templates, or open-plan layouts tailored to individual requirements, including minimizing hallways, widening access, adding storage space, ensure space usage and that activities of daily living are considered.

At the company’s new exhibition centre there is easy access to the sales centre with disabled parking by the door, show homes on display with disabled access, and disabled WC’s available within sales centre.

Tingdene also offers a wide range of on-site adaptation of homes via specialist sub-contractors. Almost any adaptation is normally possible within the build structure of a home – though each home and its tolerance would have to be taken on its own merits.

Older homes, if they have been well-maintained, should hold enough integrity to allow them to be adapted, but each home would need to be assessed prior to any works undertaken.


As more and more of us face the reality of a loved one needing constant care, there are many factors to consider at this difficult time.

This was the dilemma faced by one couple recently – and they now feel they have found the perfect solution. Their parents are living with them in their own self-contained park home sited in the garden of their suburban property.

Joanna Barker, along with her siblings, did not want to place her elderly parents into a home as they both had very different needs.  Initially, an extension to their detached property was considered, but this would have been costly and the whole appearance of the property would have changed, leaving the home too large for Joanna and her partner once the extension was no longer required.

Joanna then decided to visit Tingdene and the staff there helped her design a one bedroom park home which would suit her parents’ needs. The home, built to a park home specification and fully compliant with BS3632, has widened doorways and thresholds throughout, as well as an open plan layout that allows ease of movement for a wheelchair when required.

The local authority was contacted and they came out to view the property and the positioning of the proposed park home. It was given planning permission through permitted developments rights allowing the provision of this home within the curtilage of the existing dwelling house.

Check your deeds

These types of developments can be permitted providing, in most cases:
• The total area of ground covered by buildings, enclosures and containers apart from the original dwelling house is less than 50% of the total curtilage.
• No part of the new building is situated on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation of the original dwelling house.
• The building has only one storey.
• The height of the building does not exceed 4 metres if it has a dual pitched roof, 2.5 metres if it is within 2 metres of the boundary of the curtilage of the dwelling house or 3 metres in other cases.
• The height of the eaves does not exceed 2.5 metres.
• No veranda, balcony or raised platform is included.

Before starting any similar works, however, you must check your deeds to see if there are any covenants, private rights of way, or other legal restrictions that would preclude the work being carried out.

Happy and secure

Within six weeks of ordering the park home it was delivered and sited on a pre-prepared concrete base. The home was then connected to mains services and the property was subject to a final Post Delivery Inspection by Tingdene.

Joanna’s parents were then able to move into the home at their own pace and are now very content knowing their daughter is just a stone’s throw away. For Joanna this means that instead of having to make a 30-mile round trip several times a day to assist her parents, she simply has to walk out to her garden.

This solution has certainly helped this couple and, taking into consideration the costs of building an extension and the upheaval that this would cause, together with the prospect of mounting fees in a residential home, they feel that they have made the right choice.

The couple can enjoy views over the garden and watch the birds come and go and know that they are safe and secure with help close by at all times. Who could want more for their parents?


Tingdene, Bradfield Road, Finedon Road Industrial Estate, Wellingborough, Northants NN8 4HB. tel: 01933 230130. email: [email protected]. web: www.tingdene.co.uk

• Thanks to Joanna Barker and her family and to Tingdene for allowing use of this information.

This article was published in the October 2010 issue of Park & Holiday Homes. To order your copy please click here

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