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Woodingdean councillor denies breaking the rules over mobile home
A councillor claims she has broken no rules despite having no planning permission for a mobile home in her garden.
But following complaints from neighbours the local authority has launched an investigation into whether the Conservative member has breached regulations.
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Coun Simson, who is deputy leader of the Conservative group, told The Argus she felt she had done everything by the book, saying: “I’m not going to do anything against planning in my position.”
Coun Simson said the mobile home was used by a family member who needed shelter after falling on hard times.
The long-serving councillor added before the family member obtained a loan to pay for the caravan, she approached a planning officer for advice on whether she needed permission.
Coun Simson said she had an email from the official, which stated that as long as it was temporary, only for use by family members and only ancillary to the main residence, no formal approval was needed. So she did not apply.
She added since then the planning officer had left the authority and another official had queried Coun Simson’s actions.
The Tory politician said: “It was only ever intended as a temporary measure to get us through a difficult time.
“It was basically used as a living room and a bedroom.
“I would never have put it there if I’d known it would cause trouble. I went to all my neighbours before and told them what was happening.
“It’s no longer being used and as soon as the weather is better we will be moving it to a holiday park.
“To get it in the front garden we had to knock down part of a flint wall my father had built and put temporary fencing up.
“If it was anything more than temporary then we would have rebuilt the wall.”
A council spokesman said: “We can confirm that an investigation is taking place but cannot make any further comment at this stage.”
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