BUILDINGS on green belt land near York are to be converted into a tyre shredding plant, despite fears it will create a blot on the rural landscape.

Plans to convert two agricultural buildings on Woodhouse Farm, in Grange Lane, Rufforth, into the facility were yesterday given the thumbs-up by City of York councillors.

A report by the authority's officers, considered by a council planning committee, revealed that Rufforth With Knapton Parish Council objected to the proposal on the site, which is next to Rufforth Airfield.

In the report, the parish council said "small mountains" of used tyres would have a severe negative impact on views within the green belt.

It claimed that, in their current state, the existing buildings were inadequate to contain the dust and noise the parish council believed would be generated by the operation.

It said: "Fly tipping in the area could increase. Rubbish attracts rubbish and people who mistakenly bring tyres to the plant and are refused access will be tempted to fly-tip nearby."

The parish council also voiced concerns over access for vehicles: "We question the number of movements quoted as six to ten per day.

"Whatever it is will be in addition to, not instead of, that associated with the agricultural use of the site."

But planners said the move would have a "limited impact" on the green belt.

They said the applicant would not be allowed to stack or store tyres or other materials outside any building on the site without prior written permission from the council.

While council officers acknowledged there were some concerns about the noise, they said it was not considered to be sufficiently harmful to warrant refusing the plans.

But they did say, in a bid to protect the residents from noise, all deliveries to and from the site would have to take place between 8am and 5pm from Monday to Friday, and between 8am and noon on Saturdays.

The council confined the site's hours of operation to between 8am and 6pm from Monday to Friday, and from 8am to noon on Saturdays.

In terms of minimising dust, council planners said vehicles on the site would be covered in sheeting, and that water would be used to reduce problems with dust.

The committee approved the application on the understanding that any tyres dumped by people near the site would be cleared away by the operators as soon as possible.