A new holiday park with over 100 chalets and caravan pitches will be built on the outskirts of a County Durham town. 

Plans to convert land at Acrum Lodge, West Auckland, to create a new tourist chalet complex were approved by Durham County Council. 

The proposal details plans for 104 holiday chalets, 63 pitches for touring caravans, and a new amenity building with a reception, cafe, and shop. 

Councillors hailed the impact the holiday park will have on the County Durham tourism economy. 

The holiday park will be built on land off the A688 near West AucklandThe holiday park will be built on land off the A688 near West Auckland (Image: Google)

The site is currently designated as grazing land associated with the Acrum equestrian stud farm, located west of the A668, and south west of West Auckland.

Seven letters of objection were received from residents, who shared concerns about existing traffic congestion and safety issues in the West Auckland and Tindale area, with worries that the proposed development would exacerbate these problems.

The entrance to the proposed site was highlighted as a potential hazard due to its location on a busy stretch of road notorious for crashes. 

But councillor David Boyes said the road has improved after safety measures were introduced, telling a planning meeting: “We’ve done a lot of work over the years to make this road a lot safer, and I know we had problems with people coming into the county on motorbikes having accidents. The amount of serious accidents and fatalities has dropped in recent years.”

The site is due to be open all year round but won’t be available for full-time residents. Around 167 jobs are due to be created. 

Peter Seagrave, the applicant, estimated the new site and its visitors would contribute up to £6 million to the local economy each year. 

He said: “Ten years ago, it would have seemed less likely that a larger scale scheme for chalet and touring park of this scale would have come forward in West Auckland, and yet there is little doubt the market now exists. 

Where the new holiday park will be built Where the new holiday park will be built (Image: Google)

“It is developments of this type that make a huge difference to a local economy. The development of this site will increase tourism spending locally and across County Durham and lead to a significant increase in employment.”

Visit County Durham also backed the plans, saying the site will help address the undersupply of visitor accommodation in the region. 

Councillor Jim Atkinson moved to approve the plans. He said: “This is the type of application I like to see. The benefits outweigh any harm being considered, and the benefits to the economy look good. All of these things have the right vibrations for me.”