COUNCILLORS have backed a scheme to build 287 houses near to a railway museum .

Developer Story Homes has gained Durham County Council’s approval to build near to Locomotion: The National Railway Museum, at Shildon.

The scheme on the town's Dale Road will also include a 3.9 hectare community wildlife area.

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Shildon Town Council has backed the project in the hope it will help boost the town’s housing market.

Mick Waterson, clerk to the council, said: “The council is fully behind this scheme.

“Part of the site was a former industrial building which had been demolished and it had become a bit of a mess.

“The council felt there is an insufficient mix of housing available in Shildon and so people trying to move up the property ladder have limited opportunities.

“The authority felt that this scheme would help to alleviate this problem.”

The county council approved the Story Homes scheme at the end of January.