COUNCILLORS went against a planning officer’s advice and allowed a woman to build a new family home.

Durham County Council’s area planning committee (south and west) was advised to refuse permission for a house in Todhills, near Spennymoor, when it met on Thursday.

Applicant Rachel Quin has lived in a bungalow nearby since 2006 but, now married with two children, her family has outgrown the property.

She sought consent for a four-bedroom detached house on land occupied by a farm until the 1980s.

Senior planning officer Laura Eden recommended refusal.

She felt the site was unsustainable- as Todhills lacks services and amenities- isolated and greenfield land as it has grassed over and now blends into the landscape.

But members, who visited the site, disagreed and felt it was an ideal place to build as the old farm’s foundations remain and render the land useless for agriculture. They said rural communities should be supported with appropriate development.

Cllrs Ian Geldard and Kevin Thompson, who represent Spennymoor but are not on the planning committee, backed the application and highlighted the benefits to nearby Newfield and Byers Green.

Mrs Quin’s agent, Anton Lang, said: “This is a good news story all round.”