Probe into Dominic Cumming's Durham cottage over complaints it 'didn't have planning permission'

4 June 2020, 09:26

Dominic Cummings parent's cottage is being investigated over claims it doesn't have planning permission
Dominic Cummings parent's cottage is being investigated over claims it doesn't have planning permission. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

The cottage in which Dominic Cummings stayed in on his parents farm has under investigation after "a number of complaints" were made about its planning permission status.

The Prime Minister's senior aide stayed in the property when he travelled 260 miles from London to Durham to self-isolate during the height of lockdown in March.

But his trip became the focus of a national media furore over allegations he broke lockdown rules while the rest of the country could not see their families.

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".

Durham County Council has now said it is looking into the matter regarding the outbuilding.

According to reports, his parents bought the farm in 1999 and records on the county council planning portal show that permission was granted two years later for the erection of a pitched roof structure over an existing swimming pool.

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In subsequent years, permission has also been granted to fell trees.

A council spokesman said: "We have received a number of complaints and are currently looking into the matter."

Durham City Labour MP Mary Foy has also written to the council to ask about any potential planning permission issue, after she was contacted by constituents.

She said: "We had quite a number of emails about it."

Downing Street declined to comment when asked about the issue during a Westminster briefing.