A FARMER who is still waiting to be fully compensated after a bypass was built on his land nine years ago is facing court for refusing to pay council tax.

Peter Raine says Durham County Council owes him ten times the amount of his 2014/15 council tax bill, having failed to pay the full amount promised for his land, near West Auckland in County Durham.

Mr Raine and his brother, Nigel, of Brusselton Farm, were served a compulsory purchase order in 2005 to allow the West Auckland bypass to be built across some of their farmland, which has been in the family since the 19th century.

The brothers were given 14 days to vacate but almost a decade later they remain out of pocket, with the council yet to pay the remaining 10 per cent owed.

They have also accused the authority of failing to carry out work which was promised as part of the sale, including drainage work and hedge planting.

In protest, Peter Raine has refused to pay his latest council tax bill and on Wednesday, December 3, the 59-year-old will appear before magistrates in Newton Aycliffe.

He said: “They owe ten times what I owe in council tax. It just seems unfair I should have to pay them every year when they owe me money.

“I cannot get a reason as to why it is taking so long. I was expecting to get the court summons but I am absolutely furious my wife has got one too.”

Failure to pay council tax carries a maximum sentence of three months in custody.

However, it is not the first time the Raine brothers have spoken out publicly on the issue.

In 2007, having received no payment at all, they staged a peaceful protest at the opening ceremony of the £7m bypass, parking their tractor across the end of the road.

Stuart Timmiss, head of planning and assets at Durham County Council, said: “We are aware that negotiations in this matter have been lengthy due to the fact that this is a very complex case involving more than one landowner.

“We have paid 90 per cent of the money owed to Mr Raine and we remain in negotiation over a number of issues, which we hope will be resolved shortly.

“We are not able to comment on ongoing legal matters.”