The building used to film the hit TV series Byker Grove is to be transformed into an Islamic school.

Council planning chiefs have given the go-ahead to plans to convert Bishop's Palace into a fee-paying faith school.

The BAHR Academy will cater for up to 340 boys and girls between 11 and 16 in Benwell, Newcastle.

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But the development of the currently empty and run-down site will also include a community building, coffee shop and events space open at weekends.

The plans were approved by Newcastle City Council at a meeting despite objections from residents about traffic congestion and noise around the site, which was used to film the children's TV show which launched Ant and Dec and Donna Air to fame.

BAHR Academy principal Mufti Muhammad Abdulmuheet welcomed the decision, which he said will see a derelict building put back into the community.

He said: "When it was run by the BBC, the site was not open to everyone but we want the public to come along, the community facilities are for everyone to use.

"We want to show that Islam is inclusive and we want to be a part of Benwell and Scotswood.

"At the moment the building is in a dire state but the community has raised funds to bring it back into use."

The Newcastle-based Academy bought the site, which includes the Grade II-listed Benwell Towers and Welburn House, for £400,000.

Also known as the Mitre Building, the property was home to the bishops of Newcastle in the late 1800s, before being used as a fire station during the Second World War.

More recently it was a pub and restaurant, before being turned into the TV set where Byker Grover was filmed for 17 years. The new school will be for young people who want to become Islamic scholars and clerics.

The report to the planning committee, which had recommended approval, read: "The proposed school would impact upon some neighbouring residents.

"Increased coming and goings would generate activity above its last use as a recording studio.

"However, any disruption would be for only certain periods of the day and with less activity at weekends. Given the benefits of finding a future use of the property, then these impacts are considered acceptable."

The building has stood empty since the BBC pulled the plug on the children's drama.