plans to build a pub next to a primary school were yesterday approved.

A pub will be built on Darlington's West Park development, only 30m from the new Alderman Leach Primary School.

The plans - from Pathfinder Pubs - provoked anger from parents, who were worried by the effect it would have on young schoolchildren.

A planning committee meeting of Darlington Borough Council gave the plans the go-ahead after hearing that all possible steps would be taken to minimise the effect on the adjacent school.

Claire Rose, from Pathfinder, said it sought to attract families, and would not tolerate anti-social behaviour.

"In the siting of the pub, every effort has been made to position the pub away from the nearby school," she said.

"The pub is 30m away from the school's north boundary, and is in the north half of the site, with a car park to the south closest to the school boundary."

Councillor Barrie Armstrong, who represents the Faverdale ward where West Park is being built, said he was concerned by the plans.

"The school and nursery provides facilities for children aged from three to 11, an age at which they are probably most vulnerable and impressionable," he said. "The main problem with the site is that it is too small for the purpose - they are trying to get a quart into a pint pot here."

Councillor Sheila Brown added: "According to the licensing laws, there could be all-day drinking allowed and, if this is so, one can only imagine what this would cause so near to a school."

Councillor Cyndi Hughes appealed for deliveries to the pub to be at designated times, and for negotiation to take place with school travel planning officers to ensure children's safety.