PLANS to demolish a former railway bridge in Station Road, Stanley, to make way for new access roads have been approved by councillors, despite residents' protests.

Speaking at a Derwentside District Council planning meeting, home owners argued that the road changes would increase traffic on what, they say, is already an accident blackspot.

Development company Vestbrown Ltd want the road changes before new houses are built on the Station Fields site. They plan to replace the bridge with a new footbridge and housing estate access road to lead out on to the A6076.

Five letters of protest were received by the council from residents of Pearson Street worried about increased traffic.

Council leader Alex Watson stressed highway authority officials did not believe the plans risked people's safety.