PLANS to convert a commercial office into ticket office at a railway station have been approved.

The West Somerset Railway PLC applied for permission to Somerset West and Taunton council to convert the office space near Bishops Lydeard Station.

The council has given the plans its stamp of approval as it would have a 'positive impact' on the viability of West Somerset Railway.

The site, known as Quantock House, is part of the Broadgauge Business Park, and it borders the existing railway station.

Alex Lawrey, case officer, said: "The proposed development includes a change of use which is related to the operation of the railway and is considered to have positive impacts in relation to the operation and viability of the heritage rail-line.

"Design proposals are for fairly minor changes to the front elevation (and some internal re-configuration) and would not have a detrimental impact on the existing streetscene or station.

"While a minor quantum of employment land and buildings would be lost the economic benefits are considered to outweigh any policy issues."

WSR PLC later hopes to use the premises at Bishops Lydeard Railway Station for a kitchen and cafe.