Woodingdean councillor denies breaking the rules over mobile home

The Argus: Woodingdean councillor denies breaking the rules over mobile home 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.

Dee Simson, who sits on Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee, has had the caravan in her front garden in Baywood Gardens in Woodingdean for months.

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.”

Comments (12)

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6:58am Fri 17 Jan 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

The family member probably fell on hard times due to Tory policy. However, Dee can sleep soundly knowing that the Greens allow any caravan dwellers, hippies and other home owners to do the same. In one of the streets where I live there are two towing caravans parked on the road being used as extra bedrooms which has been ignored by the council.
I suppose slum student landlords will be at it next.
The family member probably fell on hard times due to Tory policy. However, Dee can sleep soundly knowing that the Greens allow any caravan dwellers, hippies and other home owners to do the same. In one of the streets where I live there are two towing caravans parked on the road being used as extra bedrooms which has been ignored by the council. I suppose slum student landlords will be at it next. Maxwell's Ghost

8:09am Fri 17 Jan 14

Sussex jim says...

Maxwell's Ghost wrote:
The family member probably fell on hard times due to Tory policy. However, Dee can sleep soundly knowing that the Greens allow any caravan dwellers, hippies and other home owners to do the same. In one of the streets where I live there are two towing caravans parked on the road being used as extra bedrooms which has been ignored by the council.
I suppose slum student landlords will be at it next.
Another stupid politically motived comment,in the first sentence. If any party is responsible for our current hard times, it is the Blair/Brown Labour regime we have recently suffered for thirteen years.
[quote][p][bold]Maxwell's Ghost[/bold] wrote: The family member probably fell on hard times due to Tory policy. However, Dee can sleep soundly knowing that the Greens allow any caravan dwellers, hippies and other home owners to do the same. In one of the streets where I live there are two towing caravans parked on the road being used as extra bedrooms which has been ignored by the council. I suppose slum student landlords will be at it next.[/p][/quote]Another stupid politically motived comment,in the first sentence. If any party is responsible for our current hard times, it is the Blair/Brown Labour regime we have recently suffered for thirteen years. Sussex jim

10:16am Fri 17 Jan 14

Juleyanne says...

A bit harsh! There is a lack and shortage of affordable housing and many are in dire straits.
I think a bit of flexibility in these hard times might be sensible. If it is on a private property and not obscuring anyones view or entrance to their homes, what's the problem! As a temporary measure to help a hard pressed relative used to their own space. I can't see why it is such a problem. Lighten up councils, neighbours and thank your lucky stars you have a roof to go home to as some have not. A bit of tolerance and understanding would not go amiss. Changing times, call for changing attitudes!
A bit harsh! There is a lack and shortage of affordable housing and many are in dire straits. I think a bit of flexibility in these hard times might be sensible. If it is on a private property and not obscuring anyones view or entrance to their homes, what's the problem! As a temporary measure to help a hard pressed relative used to their own space. I can't see why it is such a problem. Lighten up councils, neighbours and thank your lucky stars you have a roof to go home to as some have not. A bit of tolerance and understanding would not go amiss. Changing times, call for changing attitudes! Juleyanne

11:56am Fri 17 Jan 14

Robertostarlight says...

Sussex jim wrote:
Maxwell's Ghost wrote:
The family member probably fell on hard times due to Tory policy. However, Dee can sleep soundly knowing that the Greens allow any caravan dwellers, hippies and other home owners to do the same. In one of the streets where I live there are two towing caravans parked on the road being used as extra bedrooms which has been ignored by the council.
I suppose slum student landlords will be at it next.
Another stupid politically motived comment,in the first sentence. If any party is responsible for our current hard times, it is the Blair/Brown Labour regime we have recently suffered for thirteen years.
Dear,Dear 'Sussexjim',

If the first sentence is 'stupid' and 'politically motivated' surely the second and third sentences of your response are also in that vein.

One would have to be pretty 'stupid' not to realise that.....

One final thought, when are we going to stop hearing about the last Labour government causing all of today's problems? In May we will have had a coalition government for four years. They must surely start taking some of the reponsibility, if any blame is considered appropriate, for what is happening now and since that government was formed.

Even 'stupid' people should realise that some of the current government's policies have caused 'hard times' for some of the population regardless of what may. or may not, have gone before their formation.
[quote][p][bold]Sussex jim[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Maxwell's Ghost[/bold] wrote: The family member probably fell on hard times due to Tory policy. However, Dee can sleep soundly knowing that the Greens allow any caravan dwellers, hippies and other home owners to do the same. In one of the streets where I live there are two towing caravans parked on the road being used as extra bedrooms which has been ignored by the council. I suppose slum student landlords will be at it next.[/p][/quote]Another stupid politically motived comment,in the first sentence. If any party is responsible for our current hard times, it is the Blair/Brown Labour regime we have recently suffered for thirteen years.[/p][/quote]Dear,Dear 'Sussexjim', If the first sentence is 'stupid' and 'politically motivated' surely the second and third sentences of your response are also in that vein. One would have to be pretty 'stupid' not to realise that..... One final thought, when are we going to stop hearing about the last Labour government causing all of today's problems? In May we will have had a coalition government for four years. They must surely start taking some of the reponsibility, if any blame is considered appropriate, for what is happening now and since that government was formed. Even 'stupid' people should realise that some of the current government's policies have caused 'hard times' for some of the population regardless of what may. or may not, have gone before their formation. Robertostarlight

1:26pm Fri 17 Jan 14

whatevernext2013 says...

Juleyanne wrote:
A bit harsh! There is a lack and shortage of affordable housing and many are in dire straits.
I think a bit of flexibility in these hard times might be sensible. If it is on a private property and not obscuring anyones view or entrance to their homes, what's the problem! As a temporary measure to help a hard pressed relative used to their own space. I can't see why it is such a problem. Lighten up councils, neighbours and thank your lucky stars you have a roof to go home to as some have not. A bit of tolerance and understanding would not go amiss. Changing times, call for changing attitudes!
the thing is up in woodingdean if your in with the council/councillors you can do what you like ,while the rest of the people have too follow the rules ,some can have two bins in a household of two ,build drive ins, even put up sheds and attach them to the front of the house all of which the council turn a blind eye too ,but the rest up in woodingdean get bins left if there bags around the bin,
[quote][p][bold]Juleyanne[/bold] wrote: A bit harsh! There is a lack and shortage of affordable housing and many are in dire straits. I think a bit of flexibility in these hard times might be sensible. If it is on a private property and not obscuring anyones view or entrance to their homes, what's the problem! As a temporary measure to help a hard pressed relative used to their own space. I can't see why it is such a problem. Lighten up councils, neighbours and thank your lucky stars you have a roof to go home to as some have not. A bit of tolerance and understanding would not go amiss. Changing times, call for changing attitudes![/p][/quote]the thing is up in woodingdean if your in with the council/councillors you can do what you like ,while the rest of the people have too follow the rules ,some can have two bins in a household of two ,build drive ins, even put up sheds and attach them to the front of the house all of which the council turn a blind eye too ,but the rest up in woodingdean get bins left if there bags around the bin, whatevernext2013

5:04pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Goldenwight says...

Convenient that the planning Officer this lady spoke to has left the Council in the interim. Still, Planning is a small world and the Council WILL almost certainly know where they went since they wrote a job reference. So it will be very easy to verify this story- a point which the Councillor may have overlooked...
Convenient that the planning Officer this lady spoke to has left the Council in the interim. Still, Planning is a small world and the Council WILL almost certainly know where they went since they wrote a job reference. So it will be very easy to verify this story- a point which the Councillor may have overlooked... Goldenwight

5:05pm Fri 17 Jan 14

jimpy762 says...

Should've parked it at the top of wilsons ave, no one would've noticed for years.
Should've parked it at the top of wilsons ave, no one would've noticed for years. jimpy762

6:30pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Valerie Paynter says...

Councillor Simson knows perfectly well what "ancillary" means. It means occasional use and not over any period of time on consecutive days as a dwelling. That said: what a kind thing to have done for a relative who was in a bad way.

Accepting use for dwelling purposes over any period of time creates a precedent, sets a legal position that could allow change of use of the land it stands on. Depnding on the amount of space, this can involve building a 2nd dwelling on that space because one was there before (caravan in use as a dwelling). If allowed HERE, regardless of space for a 2nd home or not for a garden grab now or by a fuure owner, it is still something that legals can reference in support of an argument elsewhere. That is how law works.

Cllr Simson has now got a difficult problem on her hands.
Councillor Simson knows perfectly well what "ancillary" means. It means occasional use and not over any period of time on consecutive days as a dwelling. That said: what a kind thing to have done for a relative who was in a bad way. Accepting use for dwelling purposes over any period of time creates a precedent, sets a legal position that could allow change of use of the land it stands on. Depnding on the amount of space, this can involve building a 2nd dwelling on that space because one was there before (caravan in use as a dwelling). If allowed HERE, regardless of space for a 2nd home or not for a garden grab now or by a fuure owner, it is still something that legals can reference in support of an argument elsewhere. That is how law works. Cllr Simson has now got a difficult problem on her hands. Valerie Paynter

7:27pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Sorry sussex Jim you will see it was early in the morning when I posted and I was trying to get a train to work.
Just arrived home and I would like to add.......the Tories followed the disgraceful, borrow! borrow! spend! spend policy of new Labour encouraging stupid people on low incomes to pretend they lived in Beverley Hills with 125 per cent mortgages, payday loans, multiple credit cards and personal debt levels even the minted Charles Saaatchi would wince at.
I blame new Labour for thick kids going to uni and doing degrees in pop music and spending the next decade depressed that the only work they have is two hours a week teaching drumming to two 8 years olds from Hove, perma tans, big four wheel drives outside council homes, slum buy to let landlords, and illegal wars.
All of this is the result of privately educated, academics entering politics who have never, ever lived in the real world or worked, Tories, Labour, Greens.
They are all in it for themselves sussex Jim.
Sorry sussex Jim you will see it was early in the morning when I posted and I was trying to get a train to work. Just arrived home and I would like to add.......the Tories followed the disgraceful, borrow! borrow! spend! spend policy of new Labour encouraging stupid people on low incomes to pretend they lived in Beverley Hills with 125 per cent mortgages, payday loans, multiple credit cards and personal debt levels even the minted Charles Saaatchi would wince at. I blame new Labour for thick kids going to uni and doing degrees in pop music and spending the next decade depressed that the only work they have is two hours a week teaching drumming to two 8 years olds from Hove, perma tans, big four wheel drives outside council homes, slum buy to let landlords, and illegal wars. All of this is the result of privately educated, academics entering politics who have never, ever lived in the real world or worked, Tories, Labour, Greens. They are all in it for themselves sussex Jim. Maxwell's Ghost

7:49pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Withdean-er says...

Sussex jim wrote:
Maxwell's Ghost wrote:
The family member probably fell on hard times due to Tory policy. However, Dee can sleep soundly knowing that the Greens allow any caravan dwellers, hippies and other home owners to do the same. In one of the streets where I live there are two towing caravans parked on the road being used as extra bedrooms which has been ignored by the council.
I suppose slum student landlords will be at it next.
Another stupid politically motived comment,in the first sentence. If any party is responsible for our current hard times, it is the Blair/Brown Labour regime we have recently suffered for thirteen years.
Careful. The truth will hurt entrenched New Labour fans.
The Blair /Balls /Moribundx2 /Brown regime gave a free rein ('soft touch' they called it) to the banking and rest of the financial services industry and look what that did. That 'Government' also left the UK with a colossal and fast-increasing public sector debt. Fact.

On the subject of the sneaky Woodingdean mobile home - that is clearly a dwelling and needs to be moved on.
[quote][p][bold]Sussex jim[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Maxwell's Ghost[/bold] wrote: The family member probably fell on hard times due to Tory policy. However, Dee can sleep soundly knowing that the Greens allow any caravan dwellers, hippies and other home owners to do the same. In one of the streets where I live there are two towing caravans parked on the road being used as extra bedrooms which has been ignored by the council. I suppose slum student landlords will be at it next.[/p][/quote]Another stupid politically motived comment,in the first sentence. If any party is responsible for our current hard times, it is the Blair/Brown Labour regime we have recently suffered for thirteen years.[/p][/quote]Careful. The truth will hurt entrenched New Labour fans. The Blair /Balls /Moribundx2 /Brown regime gave a free rein ('soft touch' they called it) to the banking and rest of the financial services industry and look what that did. That 'Government' also left the UK with a colossal and fast-increasing public sector debt. Fact. On the subject of the sneaky Woodingdean mobile home - that is clearly a dwelling and needs to be moved on. Withdean-er

5:02am Sat 18 Jan 14

Dave At Home says...

Well the headline says it all really, and if she says there is nothing wrong then why read the story. Job done.
Well the headline says it all really, and if she says there is nothing wrong then why read the story. Job done. Dave At Home

8:27am Sat 18 Jan 14

Martin999 says...

Juleyanne wrote:
A bit harsh! There is a lack and shortage of affordable housing and many are in dire straits.
I think a bit of flexibility in these hard times might be sensible. If it is on a private property and not obscuring anyones view or entrance to their homes, what's the problem! As a temporary measure to help a hard pressed relative used to their own space. I can't see why it is such a problem. Lighten up councils, neighbours and thank your lucky stars you have a roof to go home to as some have not. A bit of tolerance and understanding would not go amiss. Changing times, call for changing attitudes!
Juleyanne, you forgot to add.............just don't park it outside my house.
[quote][p][bold]Juleyanne[/bold] wrote: A bit harsh! There is a lack and shortage of affordable housing and many are in dire straits. I think a bit of flexibility in these hard times might be sensible. If it is on a private property and not obscuring anyones view or entrance to their homes, what's the problem! As a temporary measure to help a hard pressed relative used to their own space. I can't see why it is such a problem. Lighten up councils, neighbours and thank your lucky stars you have a roof to go home to as some have not. A bit of tolerance and understanding would not go amiss. Changing times, call for changing attitudes![/p][/quote]Juleyanne, you forgot to add.............just don't park it outside my house. Martin999

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