A RACEHORSE trainer’s scheme to build a group of bungalows on farmland outside a village’s  development limits is set to be decided by a government inspector.

Grant Tuer has appealed to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government James Brokenshire over Hambleton District Council’s decision to reject his plan at Great Smeaton, between Northallerton and Darlington.

Rather than holding a public hearing, the appeal is to be dealt with by written representations and will be determined by a Planning Inspectorate officer appointed by the minister.

A spokesman for Mr Tuer, who rode 46 winners in hunter chases and point-to-points and was third in Cheltenham’s Foxhunter Chase on Trade Dispute in 2000 before becoming a trainer, said efforts had been made to blend the proposed homes into the rest of the village.

Ahead of the council refusing the application earlier this year, the spokesman said while the site was outside of development limits, it was “well related to existing development, and will provide a second layer of development for which there is precedent in Great Smeaton”.

However, before the authority’s planning committee refused the scheme, council officers said although the proposed development would “not constitute a natural or logical extension to the settlement”.