Holiday lodges near Yarm given green light after Government inspector overturns decision

A decision to refuse a host of holiday lodges near Yarm has been overturned on appeal.

Stockton Council planning committee unanimously turned down the glamping pod development in an empty field at Aislaby village in June.

But the Planning Inspectorate decided the 14 lodge development and its car park, off Aislaby Road, can now go ahead.

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The strength and volume of objectors to the holiday village was name-checked in the initial decision to refuse the development. Councillors did not think there was “sufficient economic justification” for the harm the new lodges would cause.

Stockton Council planning committee unanimously turned down the glamping pod development in an empty field at Aislaby village in June.

The committee also found the lodges would hit the wider character of the countryside and cause noise, nuisance and disturbance to neighbours.

Applicant Chris Richardson appealed to the Planning Inspectorate in the wake of the refusal, and inspector Graeme Robbie found in his favour.

Mr Robbie ruled the impacts of the six smaller lodges and eight larger timber constructions could be eased by conditions – and would largely be “hidden and unobtrusive” with planting in the rolling countryside.

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His report found the tourist accommodation would contribute to the wider economy as a base for visits to Yarm and Eaglescliffe, and he didn't believe the site would bring harm to Aislaby’s rural character.

The report stated: “It is close enough to it to not appear completely isolated amongst open fields whilst being detached sufficiently to appeal as a relaxing setting in a rural location, set apart from the closest residential properties.”

It later added: “I am satisfied that a countryside location is appropriate for the nature and scale of the development proposed.”

No fewer than 21 objections were lodged against the lodges when plans emerged with worries over traffic impacts on nearby narrow country roads.

Concerns about noise, rubbish, and a bigger holiday park coming in future were also aired.

One objector wrote: “Aislaby Road is a narrow and winding road without lighting or causeways at any point. Speeding occurs very frequently and as a favoured route for cyclists it is already an accident hotspot.”

But the inspector pointed to how council officials had raised no objections on highway grounds.

The report added: “Although the road is narrow and undulating in places, it was not unduly so and I note that there was no objection to the proposal on highways grounds from the council, and highways matters did not form one of the council’s reasons for refusal.”