Family’s fury at mobile home decision

John and Samantha Crake and their children (from left) Jimmy, Jack Lee, Chelsea Jade, John Thomas and Sophie , who have been refused planning permission to site a caravan with a toilet on the property where their stables are housed in Trimdon.
John and Samantha Crake and their children (from left) Jimmy, Jack Lee, Chelsea Jade, John Thomas and Sophie , who have been refused planning permission to site a caravan with a toilet on the property where their stables are housed in Trimdon.
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A FAMILY have hit out at a council’s decision to block plans for a mobile home that would provide basic amenities at their stables after a traveller site nearby was given the go-ahead.

John Crake and his family own a five-acre site and smallholding where his children regularly go to tend to the family’s horses.

John, 35, and his wife Samantha, 27, say they want permission to have a caravan there to allow the youngsters to have somewhere to eat and use the bathroom.

Planning permission has been rejected for the mobile home and an update on an appeal against the decision is due to be heard at a planning committee meeting this Thursday.

A report to the Durham County Council meeting, where the appeal is also expected to be rejected, says permission has been refused on the grounds that the development, at Green Valley Stables, in Salters Lane, Trimdon, would constitute an “unjustified and visually intrusive feature in the countryside, detrimental to the character and appearance of the area”.

It adds that the proposal “has the potential to be used for residential use and would be sited in the open countryside”.

But Mr Crake says he is dismayed as to why his application has been refused when a traveller site nearby has been given the green light and his family just want their caravan for basic amenities.

Mr Crake, who lives in Wynyard Road, Trimdon Village, with Samantha and their children, John, 12, Chelsea, nine, Jack, six, Sophie, two and 10-month-old Jimmy, said: “How can they say it about mine and not about theirs?

“They won’t give us facilities for the children.

“But on the same hand they are passing permission for this bigger site of travellers.”

A council report says an appeal was allowed for the traveller site, which has two static caravans, two touring caravans and mobile washroom and granted permission for five years.

It had originally been refused because of an impact on the countryside.

But the appeal was allowed in July last year, with a need for around 60 gypsy and traveller sites within County Durham cited as carrying “significant weight”.

John, who owns Morris Crake and Sons Minibuses and has had the stables for three years, added: “We just want somewhere nice and warm for the kids to sit, to eat and get washed.

“The kids can’t understand why the council is giving permission for people from hundreds of miles away to live there and we can’t have somewhere to use basic amenities.”

A Durham County Council spokeswoman would not comment saying the matter was a Planning Inspectorate issue.