Harperley POW Camp, Crook
Ellen Forster

Former County Durham prisoner of war camp to become cheese factory

Durham County Council have granted planning permission for the former camp at Harperley, Weardale.

Simon Raine has had his application of planning permission approved to turn hut 16 at the camp into a cheese making facility.

The camp lies just off the A68 near Crook and was built in 1942 to house POWs during the Second World War.

Originally, there were 57 prefabricated huts on the site which were used as accommodation for the prisoners and the British guards.

Since the camp closed in 1946, the site had a variety of different uses including as a chicken farm, a garden centre and most recently a tourist attraction. The property has remained out of use for several years.

The project is expected to create three jobs; one full time and two part time.

Rob Young, inspector of ancient monuments at English Heritage said: “Harperley Camp has significance because of its rarity value as the only scheduled prisoner of war camp in England. The proposals will further modify an already modified hut at the camp, with no impact upon the significance of the individual hut or the scheduled monument as a whole.

“The proposed new use should create local employment and will facilitate the manufacture of a product that will make a positive contribution to the development of local character and distinctiveness.”

Image used under Wikimedia Creative Commons License. Credit: Rolyat29

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