A PLAN to turn a paddock into a travellers' caravan site has been submitted to Darlington Borough Council for the third time.

James Mounsey first asked the council for permission to create the gipsy park for members of his family in July 2001. The application was refused and he reapplied in March 2002. Again councillors rejected the application for stationary caravans and amenity site at Blackwell Moor Farm, Snipe Lane, Hurworth Moor, despite council officers recommending its approval.

They said the proposal could damage the countryside and there was unsatisfactory access to the A66.

They also referred to the Tees Valley Structure Plan, which states that new gipsy sites should have reasonable access to essential services and facilities, and be relatively unobtrusive.

Undeterred, Mr Mounsey, who lives on the site, has asked the council to reconsider his application for a third time.

The Gypsy Council has backed Mr Mounsey's application, saying the council's opposition contravenes human rights legislation.

A spokeswoman for the borough council said yesterday that under the 1990 Planning Act, if an application was resubmitted within two years of being rejected it had to have been altered from the original.

If an application was rejected and then an identical one re-submitted, it could be refused without being reconsidered by council officers.

She said: "This application does vary from the original. There are fewer caravans and fewer amenity blocks. There is also mention given to access problems.

"This means it will be looked at again by council officers before a decision is made."