A MOTHER’S dream of building a new house so her growing family can stay in their tiny home village could be shattered as her planning application has been recommended for refusal.

Rachel Quin wants to build a four-bedroom detached brick house at Todhills near Spennymoor.

Mrs Quin has lived opposite the site in a bungalow she bought and renovated in 2006 but, now married with two young sons, says her family has outgrown it.

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Desperate to stay in Todhills, she has asked Durham County Council for consent to have a house built on 0.27ha which was occupied by a farm until the mid 1980s when it was demolished.

But planning officers will advise the area planning committee (south and west) to refuse permission for the building when meets in Spennymoor next Thursday.

They say the plan cannot be considered a sustainable development as Todhills is so small- with just a farm, eight houses, a cattery and brickworks- and has a complete lack of amenities, facilities and services.

Limited bus services and a 500m plus walk to reach the outskirts of nearby settlements, themselves only small, mean residents and future occupants depend on car travel to reach employment opportunities, schools and shops needed to sustain everyday life.

Officers say new houses in the countryside should be avoided and this property would be isolated and in a rural spot, surrounded by large open fields.

Councillors will hear an application for the same house was withdrawn last year because it was unlikely to be looked upon favourably due to the unsustainable location and, to a lesser extent, land contamination issues.

This application is much the same but with more details to address the areas of concern.

In her application, Mrs Quin says if she is able to move her family into the proposed house her parents will move into their cottage.

She says she has spent most of her adult life in Todhills and all her local ties are in the area, including horses she has stabled at Todhills Farm for 20 years.

She wrote: “This is a sustainable location- it is where I am already and where I want me, my family and my parents to be- in amongst the community of which we are part.

“The planning process should allow for this, especially on this useless site.”

Sympathetic neighbours wrote to the council to back Mrs Quin’s application.

Durham County Councillors Kevin Thompson and Ian Geldard have also supported the proposal, which will go to the committee rather than be determined by officers under delegated powers at Cllr Geldard’s request.