A PLAN to fill in Pickering trout lake and replace it with a car park has been approved by Ryedale District Council.

The trout lake site, at Undercliffe in the north of the town, will be made into a 158-space car park, as well as a seven-unit "glampsite". There will also be a reception building with cafe, shop, exhibition and meeting space, a service kitchen, public toilets and shower rooms and a three-bedroom manager's apartment. The area will be landscaped and on-site roads and pathways created. The existing service building will be demolished.

The site is adjacent to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway station in Pickering, and will create extra capacity for tourists going on the train.

A spokesman for Moorland Trout Farms said: "We are delighted to be able to redevelop the old fishing lake site into something that will support the growth and vitality of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway; one of the key economic drivers in Ryedale and Pickering's most important tourism offering."

To tie in with the railway theme, the glamping units which people will be able to stay in are to be created out of old railway carriages, and the new builds will echo railway architecture.

The spokesman added: "These meticulously drafted proposals will enhance the overall visitor reception experience at the Pickering rail head and provide railway enthusiasts with the chance to enjoy some unique short-stay accommodation in the form of converted railway vans adjacent to the NYMR's running lines.

"A new building in the vernacular of a North Eastern Railway's engine shed will house a specialist modelling centre, exhibition area, cafe and public conveniences. An extensive landscaping and plant screening programme, including 84 new trees and more than 300 metres of native hedgerow, will vastly improve the site's current biodiversity value."

The development saw a significant number of objections, as well as statements of support.

Pickering Town Council were among those who objected to the development. Among their concerns, the council felt that although the town needs more parking, the trout lake was "possibly not the right place".

Concerns were also raised about the volume of traffic that the car park would generate, further development of the site, and the loss of an area of still water in the town.

The few remaining trout will be removed once the lake is at its final pump out stage. Work on the site is projected to be completed "by the end of the 2017 season, if not before".