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Planning permission refused for site in Weardale
RESIDENTS successfully fought a proposal to double the size of a caravan park on the edge of their Dales village.
David Anderson wanted planning permission from Durham County Council to expand his family business- Struthers Caravan Site, at Edmundbyers, in Weardale. He applied to extend the site into an agricultural field with 31 static caravans and six tent and touring pitches around a new internal access road.
He also sought consent to rearrange the existing site, which has 14 static caravans, to accommodate 11 tent and touring pitches and for a new office and amenity block and a small play area.
Mr Anderson told a meeting of the area planning committee (south and west) that the business, which employs four full time staff along with seasonal workers and sub contractors, needs to modernize and expand.
But residents argued that the expansion outside the village would ruin the view and detract from the character of the area.
The council received 38 objection letters and environmental groups including the North Pennines AONB Partnership and the Campaign to Protect Rural England raised concerns about the impact of the plan on the landscape. There was one letter of support which said it could boost trade at the local pub and shop, understood to be reopening soon.
Although planning officers agreed the proposal to phase development and to plant around the perimeter would soften the appearance they said it would still harm the special landscape quality and character of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, within which it lies, and the adjacent conservation area.
They were particularly concerned about the view from Muggleswick Road to the south which could not be adequately screened.
Members of the area planning committee (south and west), which met in Crook on Thursday (October 18), refused the application.
Coun Keith Davidson said: “I don’t think morally we can defend allowing this.”