Dominic Cummings lockdown cottage ‘built without planning permission’

Planning bosses are investigating whether the property Dominic Cummings stayed in during his controversial lockdown trip was built without planning permission.

Aerial photo on bbc link  here

Kali Lindsay www.mirror.co.uk 

The governmental advisor stayed at North Lodge, near Durham, when he travelled to the area on March 27 with his four-year-old son and wife after she started suffering coronavirus symptoms.

The building is understood to have been the site of a swimming pool and permission for the erection of a pitched roof structure over it was granted in 2001.

No other applications have made for it since, apart from the felling of trees.

Mr Cummings told a news conference last week that the building was “an isolated cottage” roughly 50 metres from his parents’ home, and described it as “sort of concrete blocks”.

According to reports, his parents bought the farm in 1999.

Durham County Council has now received several complaints over whether the property has the necessary planning permission to be used as a residential dwelling.

A spokeswoman for Durham County Council said: “We have received a number of complaints and are currently looking into the matter.”

The Prime Minister’s chief adviser was slammed for his decision to travel 260 miles from his home and accused of breaking lockdown restrictions.

Mr Cummings said he acted “lawfully and reasonably” after coming under fire for the trip.

He said the reason for returning to the North East was because his wife had developed coronavirus symptoms and they had issues with childcare if they both became unwell.

He admitted making a 60-mile round trip to Barnard Castle during his stay claiming he needed to check his eyesight after experiencing coronavirus symptoms.

Durham Constabulary has said it doesn’t consider Mr Cummings locating to Durham an offence but said the trip to Barnard Castle may have been a “minor breach” of the lockdown rules.

A spokeswoman for Downing Street declined to comment on the matter.

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