PLANS to demolish a former college building and build 10 houses have been unanimously thrown out by councillors on the St Helens planning committee.

Developers wanted to replace Newton-le-Willows college campus, which dates back to 1911, and construct the two and three-bedroom homes.

However, in what turned out to be a lively meeting at the town hall the councillors firmly rejected the plans.

Newton neighbours Rhonda Wainman and Alma Pedley spoke passionately on behalf of the community before Newton councillors Charles Banks and Seve Gomez-Aspron had their say.

Cllr Gomez-Aspron told the Star: “I think the councillors recognised the loss of similar buildings on their patch.

“I think the Black Horse application (in Moss Bank) a few meetings ago also struck a nerve.

“The whole committee agreed that the demolition of the college would be a severe hit to the town and a reduction of local heritage.

“We hope that the developers now go away and come back with a more sensible option including keeping the facade.

“Councillor Richard McCauley told the meeting that if the developer had been more in touch with the community they’d have seen this coming a mile off.

“I think it sent a clear message out that the council won’t accept quick development at the expense of heritage.”