VANESSA Addison believes the experience of growing up profoundly deaf helped give her the determination to achieve.

Less than four years ago, the mother-of-two spotted an attractive plot of land on the school run and thought about buying it.

Since then, that impulse has been turned into a property development business which is about to turn over more than £3m.

The importance of not letting a disability hold you back is one message she is keen to spread. “Because people say I speak well, they don’t realise how deaf I am,” she says.

She is also keen to show recent mothers that they can achieve a balance between work and family life. And she wants to tell people about the government’s Help to Buy scheme, due to run until 2020 for new homes.

Vanessa, a former fund manager, was a stay-at-home mum when she spotted her first development site while driving.

“We lived in Ringwood and our children moved to school in Bournemouth. I’m not very good at directions so I got lost,” she said.

Diverted because of an accident on the Spur Road, she spotted a likely plot and decided to buy it.

Her business, Green Bee Homes, turned over £500,000 in that first year and has put on around another £500,000 each year since.

It specialises in small developments, of houses rather than flats, usually suitable for first time buyers.

Her 40th development site locally is in Grandby Road, Muscliff, and will consist of two bungalows plus an existing home. She is working on 10 houses and four flats, with 14 plots of land in various stages of planning.

Her early sites tended to be those Vanessa spotted on the school run in Bournemouth.

“I was always being redirected, so a lot of those were around the school area initially,” she says.

“But recently, because we’ve been doing a number of developments, people have started calling us.

“The work we do is very individual and takes into consideration the local environment,” she says.

The homes are designed to integrate with their local area and all sport a distinctive porthole window which has become Green Bee’s signature.

“We called ourselves Green Bee so we try to be environmentally friendly, with under floor heading, LED lights, all these type of things. They’re things people think they could never afford.”

Vanessa, 42, was born deaf and she lip-reads in conversation. Hearing aids give her some ability to use a phone, but her husband Tim does most of the calls.

“I had a lot of support from my parents. They gave me a lot of speech therapy when I was young,” she says.

“They were among the first people to push me out there and say ‘Have a go’. They used to make me pick up the phone and have a conversation with someone. You can achieve anything if you get up and have a go and are determined.”

A former governor of Mary Hare School for deaf children and trustee of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, she is keen that her homes should be suitable for people with disabilities.

Her sons, aged five and eight, “bring a lot humour to my life”, she says, sometimes telling her the doorbell has rung when it hasn’t. They have helped her make her more patient in business, she says – and she is unlike people’s expectation of a property developer.

“I think people are very worried when they first meet us. I think being a woman helps,” she says.

“I don’t tend to use the words ‘property developer’ because it does have a negative attachment.”

She says her boys are one reason she wants to build homes.

“I’m interested in it for my children. I want to know they’re going to be able to get on the property ladder,” she said.

“All the people who are making Bournemouth tick are struggling to get on to the property ladder because they’ve been out-priced.”

After the property ‘crash’ of 2008, is property a shaky foundation for a business?

“That’s why I feel so strongly that we have to be self-sufficient,” she says.

“That way we’re managing our risk and we’re managing what we do. We look at every project very carefully to make sure it’s economically viable. If there’s any doubt, we will say no to a project.”

She adds: “It’s difficult to describe the satisfaction of giving somebody the key to their new home.”