Mobile home fight to go on

John and Samantha Crake and their children (from left) Sophie, Jimmy, Jack, John and Chelsea, 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) Sophie, Jimmy, Jack, John and Chelsea, who have been refused planning permission to site a caravan with a toilet on the property where their stables are housed in Trimdon.

A FAMILY refused planning permission for a mobile home to provide basic amenities at their stables has vowed to battle on against a council.

John Crake and his family applied for permission to have a caravan on the site of their smallholding where his children regularly tend to their horses.

But planning permission was rejected on the grounds that the development would negatively impact on the countryside, as reported in the Hartlepool Mail.

Mr Crake had argued that he only wanted a mobile home on his five-acre site at Green Valley Stables, in Salters Lane, Trimdon, so his children would have somewhere to use the bathroom and eat while visiting the family’s horses.

Yet he said the go-ahead was given to a nearby traveller site which has two static caravans, two touring caravans and a mobile washroom.

The Planning Inspectorate have given weight to the traveller family’s human rights and the need for Durham County Council to provide 60 gypsy and traveller sites in County Durham.

A report to an appeal hearing recommended that Mr Crake’s appeal be refused and council officers endorsed this when they met last month.

Mr Crake, 35, said: “They said it was on the grounds that it was building in the local countryside.”

But Mr Crake, who is married to Samantha, 27, and dad to John, 12, Chelsea, nine, Jack, six, Sophie, two and 10-month-old Jimmy, said he was not giving up.

He has been in touch with UK Planning Appeals, a specialist appeals service based in Birmingham, who he says is helping him to fight the ruling.

Mr Crake, who lives in Wynyard Road, Trimdon Village, and owns Morris Crake and Sons Minibuses, said: “There have been indications that we could possibly get a smaller caravan on there.

“I haven’t given up.”

The council previously said this was a Planning Inspectorate issue and would not comment.

A Planning Inspectorate report says: “I appreciate the appellant’s need to shelter his children, but it is not clear that the modest needs described require such a large and visually obtrusive development.

“The appellant has drawn attention to several other mobile homes in the area that he believes have been granted planning permission.

“I am not aware of the full circumstances of these so cannot draw any comparison.

“I conclude that the proposal would harm the character and appearance of the surrounding countryside.”

In relation to the traveller appeal, the Planning Inspector said: “Dismissal of the appeal would, in all likelihood, require the appellant and her family to return to unauthorised camping.

“This would represent a significant interference with their home and family life which in my view outweighs the harm which would be caused by the development for a temporary period, in terms of its effect upon the public interest.”