A PLAN to build a housing development on a parcel of land between the East Coast Main Line and a heavily used freight railway line has been approved.

Hambleton District Council planning committee heard the former site of Arla Foods creamery, off Romanby Road, Northallerton, had become an eyesore since closing with the loss of 130 jobs in 2010.

The 0.7-hectare site, which was originally financed by the North-Eastern Railway as part of its efforts to promote fresh milk distribution by rail, had been home to several dairy firms since 1905.

In its application for outline planning permission to build 25 two, three and four-bedroom homes, Arla Foods admitted the scheme faced noise and vibration issues, and that there could be additional trains on the East Coast Main Line with the extension of the Wensleydale Railway to a a nearby terminus.

A spokesman for the firm said: "Arla Foods Limited is committed within its landholdings to delivering real and vibrant places, where people will choose and afford to live and work.

"They are also committed in leaving a long term legacy for the communities in which they’re involved."

Romanby ward councillor Kevin Hardisty said the derelict site was a blot at the entrance to Northallerton and needed a revamp.

He said: "I probably would not like to live between two railway lines, but some people will wish to."

The meeting heard building work would not begin until a scheme for protecting the houses from the railway noise had been approved by the authority.

Council officers said it would have to be demonstrated the noise levels inside the properties would be below 30 decibels.

Noise mitigation methods would involve a combination of acoustic glazing and ventilation, noise barriers and vibration isolation within the properties' foundations.

Councillor David Blades said it was apparent that due to the noise residents would not be able to open their windows and that there remained sewerage issues in the area.

He added: "There are so many complications, I can't see them going ahead with the scheme."

While members pointed towards other housing in Northallerton that had been built next to railway lines, Councillor Peter Bardon said he couldn't recall the authority approving developments between two tracks.

He said: "There is no talk at all about mitigating the noise when you sit outside, what sort of quality of life are we offering the people who are going to be living in these homes?"