‘Integrity’ issue raised in Rudgwick planning dispute

Horsham District Councillor John Bailey - picture submitted
Horsham District Councillor John Bailey - picture submitted

The issue of ‘integrity’ of district councillors has been raised as the planning debate over use of a Rudgwick shed continues.

John Bailey’s (Con, Rudgwick) Highcroft Drive shed is authorised to be used for his business Rudgwick Metals.

But over the past year Mr Bailey has allowed it to be used by mechanic Talon Motors and has since faced complaints from neighbours of disturbance, trespass and increased traffic using a private road, HDC colleagues were told at a meeting in May (WSCT 18/05/13).

Last Wednesday evening (July 3) village residents attended a Rudgwick Parish Council meeting to oppose the lifting of a planning condition which would lead to change of use of the shed.

Speaking of Mr Bailey, local Grahame Morgan-Watson told the council: “Clearly there is a breach of the Horsham District Council code of conduct.”

Among other principles of the Localism Act 2001 - which councillors must adhere to - he cited ‘integrity’, explaining: “Members should not place themselves in situations where their integrity may be questioned, should not behave improperly and should on all occasions avoid the appearance of such behaviour.”

He informed the council he intended to file a complaint with HDC.

Rudgwick Parish Council chairman Paul Thompson said: “By all means take that route, but by experience in the past it doesn’t get resolved.”

The parish council voted against lifting the planning condition on the councillor’s shed.