Heart patient's special garden could be cut by a third by housing group

Little Holly Jones' special garden could be scrapped under new plans to improve homes in the area by Bernicia Group

Emily Barber Holly Jones in her garden that was created by gardeners Phil and Daniel Straughan
Holly Jones in her garden that was created by gardeners Phil and Daniel Straughan

Workers came from far and wide to create a garden perfect for open-heart patient Holly Jones.

But now one third of the plot could be eaten into under new plans to improve homes in the area.

Holly underwent her first open heart surgery at just three months old but her life changed forever when she suffered several strokes during a third operation.

The five-year-old loves spending time in the garden and her parents, with the help of local businesses, last year transformed their back garden into a play area for her.

Now, workers from Bernicia Group have unveiled plans to update houses in Burnside, Bedlington, Northumberland. The proposals would see trees being planted at the bottom of the garden, which the family say would reduce Holly’s garden by a third.

Holly’s mum Lisa Purdy, 31, said: “The garden is the only place Holly can play, it’s not like she can go outside in the street.

“She just wants to play in the garden, it will be a big part of her life over the next few years.

“The plans for the houses are great but it would be such a shame to see people’s hard work go to waste.”

The strokes left Holly unable to use her legs and left arm, and affected her mental development and her vision. She relies on a wheelchair to get around.

After reading Holly’s story in The Journal, several businesses came forward to help Holly’s parents, Lisa and Barry Jones, create the garden.

Environmental contractors WL Straughan and Son stepped forward to help with the landscaping work, while Choppington Slimming World group raised £150 for Holly and presented her with a trampoline and play equipment.

Lisa, 31, said: “The improvements look amazing but we will be losing a third of the garden, which is quite a lot.

“We will be losing the main part of it. The part they are taking away has around £400 worth of plants in it that were donated to Holly.”

A Bernicia spokeswoman said: “We have consulted with residents in relation to investment proposals for the Burnside Estate, focussing on creating a vibrant environment to live and establishing defined garden and boundary areas to improve safety and security.

“Aware that the family are delighted with the overall proposed improvements, Bernicia is sensitive to Holly’s needs and will work through any concerns Holly’s parents may have about her garden with them.”

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