BOB the Builder is coming to the North-East in a new adventure park by the end of the month.

Councillors voted to grant permission for the £2m Diggerland park, which is due to open on Saturday, March 31.

The children's park, which will feature fictional TV character Bob the Builder, will be built at Langley Park, near Durham City, and will enable children to play on diggers, dumpers and other large construction machines.

Other highlights at the park will include a 'dumper train' computer games room, caf and shop and a 'sky shuttle'. The 6.5 hectare park will be a larger version of one in Strood in Kent, which attracted 50,000 visitors last year and will create 50 seasonal jobs.

Creator of the parks Hugh Edeleanu of construction firm H E Services promised that the adventure park will offer fun for the family. He said: "We are extremely pleased with the decision. All I can say is the park in Kent was the talk of the town when it opened and still is now. I'm sure it will be the same up here. One of our latest innovations is our sky shuttle JCB where children are lifted up in a huge JCB machine."

He added that the Health and Safety Executive had cleared the building of the original park after four years of investigations.

Councillors on the planning committee of Derwentside District Council unanimously voted through the proposal - despite receiving three letters of objection from nearby residents worried about the noise levels.

The council gave one year's permission to build the park on provision that noise levels do not exceed 47 decibels.

Leader of the council Alex Watson said: "This is a highly imaginative scheme and a significant investment in our area."

H E Services plan to start creating the park in the Riverside Industrial Estate almost immediately. A car park will also be built at the industrial estate