PLANNING permission for the growth of a family fun park has been approved despite opposition from people living near the site.

Residents have complained over the plans for Holmside Park, near Edmondsley, arguing noise from visitors was disturbing their quality of life.

But, following a meeting at Durham County Council’s north area planning committee, councillors agreed to approve the scheme.

It involved granting new permission for outdoor activities, such as the use of quad bikes and buggies, as well as retrospectively updating existing permissions from when the site operated as Mini and Maxi Moos Adventure Land.

It was reopened by a new operator last summer with an indoor play area featuring soft play, giant inflatables, a roller rink and archery.

But the company behind the park has plans to expand and is aiming to attract adults to take part in activities at weekends to help keep it running for youngsters during the week.

The council received eight letters of objection to the plans.

At a meeting at County Hall on Thursday resident Deborah Dixon said: “The village is surrounded by a woodland area, which results in the village being very quiet and peaceful.

“Our fear with regard to the proposed development at Holmside Park is that village life will be destroyed forever.

“It will bring with it increased noise levels.

“We have already heard the noise that resonates from the park and at times it is unbearable.”

Paul Banks, managing director of Holmside Park, said his firm was keen to work with residents to allay fears and mitigate against disturbance from the park.

He said £500,000 has been invested in the facility, creating 30 jobs in the local area.

In his application statement, he said: “We believe all the skills needed to run our facility at Holmside Park are available in the surrounding areas. We do believe in going forward that our business at Holmside Park will become an asset to the community in which it serves.

“Our view is to always work with the people in the local community to achieve the best for both the company and the surrounding area alike.”

Senior planning officer Steve France wrote a report advising councillors to support the scheme.

The plans were approved by all members who voted, with one abstention.

Councillor Stuart Dunn said: “I welcome the fact they are engaging with the local community and the local community are engaging with them.”