A COUNCILLOR who built three sheds without permission in his garden and let his son live in one has been facing complaints from neighbours over amorous trysts.

Brian Ayling, a member of Southend’s development control committee, built three wooden outbuildings in his garden on Eastern Avenue - without planning permission.

The outbuildings were set to be used for overnight stays by relatives, but his son has been living in one for a year.

Complaints to the council from a neighbour, said to be over the son’s amorous trysts with his girlfriend, resulted in the councillor being ordered to submit a planning application – which has now been rejected.

A statement by Mr Ayling’s neighbour said: “I have to listen to them participating in sexual activities.”

The neighbour also complained about “dodgy wiring” which he said was a fire hazard and stated that the application made “a mockery of the committee”.

Independent St Luke’s ward councillor, Mr Ayling maintains he did not realise he needed permission for the sheds.

Mr Ayling built the shed after his son – who had lost his job and had nowhere to live –was employed by NHS test and trace to work from home.

Mr Ayling said: “I will be resubmitting the application again.

“I built the log cabin so my son could work from there and somebody complained.

“I didn’t realise I needed permission for a log cabin in my garden. The other person who complained was my opponent in the next election.

“I made an official complaint on councillor Dent because they all ganged together against me.”

Seven councillors voted to refuse the application against three for approval. Five councillors abstained for the vote.

Matt Dent, Labour councillor for Kursaal ward said: “He said he didn’t realise but it’s bizarre for someone on the development control committee.”

Mr Dent said there was a degree of unjustified mistrust among members of the public over councillors making planning decisions.

He added: “Decisions like this one don’t help. They reinforce negative perceptions about councillors and makes it harder for us to do our job.”