PLANS to build ‘bungalow-style mobile homes’ on a scrap of land in a County Durham village have been thrown out by council planners.

Last year, plans were submitted to Durham County Council for up to 13 mobile homes on vacant land off George Street, in Haswell.

The homes, proposed by applicant M Quinn of Nottingham, were designed to be used as residential accommodation for those aged over 55.

According to planning documents, the land also benefited from extant permission for residential development.

The new plans included a change of use of the land to accommodate mobile homes – with other elements of the site set to be controlled through a licence under The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act (1960).

This included a boundary wall, lighting, the formation of concrete plinths and the construction of an internal access road.

A design and access statement, submitted with the plan, added the mobile homes would help meet demand for “additional relatively low cost single storey accommodation for an ageing population.”

During consultation, seven public objections were lodged raising concerns including the impact on residential amenity and loss of privacy.

After considering all submissions, Durham County Council’s planning department refused the application on February 9,2021.

The main issues included the impact on neighbouring properties, drainage and ecology.

The Northern Echo:

A decision report stated the development would have a “significant detrimental impact upon the amenity of existing residential dwellings in terms of appearing overbearing and from reduced privacy.”

Planners added the application “failed to provide sufficient information to demonstrate that surface water could be satisfactorily managed” and would also  “fail to deliver net biodiversity gain.”

Several mobile homes also failed to meet the required separation distances set out in council planning policy, which council planners said would lead to a loss of privacy and an “overbearing effect.”

The report went on to say: “In addition, it should be noted that the boundary wall is currently the subject of an enforcement notice that requires a reduction to [its] height down to 2 metres which if upheld (it is currently the subject of an appeal), would further expose the units and allow views between the caravans and existing dwellings.”