Tory councillor’s appeals dismissed

John Bailey, who represents Rudgwick at Horsham District Council
John Bailey, who represents Rudgwick at Horsham District Council

A Tory councillor has failed to gain permission to live in a shipping-like container from a planning inspector.

Berkeley Homes is currently building 55 new homes along with offices at the Windacres Farm site in Rudgwick off Church Street.

Since Rudgwick councillor John Bailey’s home has been demolished he submitted retrospective plans to live in a ‘container home’ on the remaining part of his agricultural land for three years until he can move into one of the new homes.

Horsham District Council refused planning permission in August last year, but then Mr Bailey appealed against this decision to the planning inspectorate.

However a planning inspector has sided with the council and dismissed his appeal.

In their decision notice the inspector said: “The appellant submits that this dwelling is essential in order to enable him to continue to properly manage his well-established farm on-site and other commercial business activities nearby.

“However, I am not provided with substantive evidence which justifies the necessity for an on-site presence to undertake these activities. As such I am not persuaded that the proposed dwelling is essential to this location.”

They went on conclude the use was ‘not essential to the countryside’ and would ‘result in a more developed character to this site’.

The proposal would be ‘harmful to the character and appearance of this undeveloped rural area’.

A second appeal by Mr Bailey has also been unsuccessful.

Mr Bailey was granted prior approval in 2012 for an agricultural barn, but was not built in accordance with the details approved by the council.

He then submitted an application to HDC for a lean-to extension to the barn, but appealed to the planning inspector on the grounds of non-determination.

This can be done when a council has failed to make a decision about the application within the allotted time frame.

The inspector has ruled that since the barn itself is ‘not lawful’ it is not possible to allow an extension and the appeal ‘should fail on this ground’.

Mr Bailey is not standing again at next months HDC election.