PROPOSALS for a new self-storage facility have been turned down by planning chiefs.

Earlier this year, plans were lodged with Durham County Council for land north of the old brickworks at Leasingthorne Industrial Estate.

According to documents submitted with the application, the derelict site was formerly used as a colliery yard and brickworks.

New plans aimed to provide a self-storage facility for 16 containers, alongside a new 2.1 metre high chain link fence.

The proposals were expected to create four part-time and four full-time jobs with no "adverse impact to trees" or excavation works planned.

Following consultation, the council's planning department refused the plan on Monday, as it clashed with several policies in the recently adopted County Durham Plan.

This included building the storage facility in an "unsustainable countryside location, without sufficient justification."

Planners said the development would have an "adverse impact" on the character and appearance of the surrounding area, on the rural character of the countryside and on the "enjoyment and routing" of a public right of way.

A decision report noted the development is "not well connected to the principal highway network" and does not "provide or support sustainable modes of transport, or demonstrate that a suitable and safe access could be achievable for all users."

The report added that the development would likely increase the risk of flooding and pollution of the environment and that "insufficient information" was provided around ecology and the public right of way.

Comments from the council's ecology department also said that a loss of habitats/ species on site "should be assumed."

A statement submitted to the council's planning portal goes on to say: "It is not felt that the overall impacts, i.e. loss of habitat and species has been adequately assessed/understood.

"Although it is stated that the proposed storage containers will not require any foundations, the ongoing disturbance and shading caused by the units and proposed site use, will undoubtedly result in a loss of habitat and associated impacts on existing priority habitats and species which have been noted to be present on site."