Children in court after house fire

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THREE schoolchildren were due to appear before a court today accused of an arson attack which has left a housing developer with a £25,000 bill.

The two boys, aged 11 and 12, and a 13-year-old girl, all from the Peterlee area, have been charged with arson after the fire at new housing development Eden Court in Horden.

The fire happened on Friday, March 11, and forced developer Holystone to demolish the two-bedroomed end terrace home.

The property, on the market at £110,000, had been locked up as it awaited sale by the builder.

The company had bought and demolished the former Big Club to create the housing estate on the land.

Several of the homes were left as shells after the housing market slowed and in readiness for a buyer.

The cost of the fire had initially been put at £10,000, but the bill has now been put at £25,000.

The children were due to appear before a youth court in Peterlee this morning.