A HOUSE where drugs were allegedly dealt to young people was temporarily closed by police last night.

The closure notice was pinned to the door of the mid-terraced rented housing association property in Langley Park, near Durham. Tenant Angela Mary Watson was allowed to remove possessions before the closure order was carried out by Durham Police.

The 51-year-old mother of two grown-up daughters is not allowed to return to the house, in Railway Street, at least until the outcome of a police application, at Durham Magistrates' Court, on April 30. If successful, the closure order would run for three months.

The force is taking action under the "crack house" powers of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act, of 2003.

Such action can be taken when a senior police officer suspects premises have been used in connection with the unlawful use, production or supply of class A controlled drugs during the previous three months.

Mrs Watson is already accused of possessing amphetamines with intent to supply and possession of heroin. She is also to be charged with possessing heroin with intent to supply.

Inspector Andrew McConnell said the closure order application was a civil, rather than criminal case, so carried a lower burden of proof in the courts.

Mrs Watson's lawyer, solicitor Mark Ward, did not oppose an interim order at the court yesterday. He told magistrates she intended to contest the application at the hearing at the end of the month, but needed more time to prepare her case.

After the hearing, he said Mrs Watson felt the action was unjust. "She very much hopes to be back in her home in just over two weeks," he said.