COUNCILLORS have rejected a proposal to replace the former council offices in town with 70 retirement apartments.

Cheshire West and Chester Council planning officers had recommended the scheme was approved ahead of a planning committee meeting on Tuesday, but members voted down the scheme by nine to one.

Cllr Sam Naylor, CWAC member for Winnington and Castle, spoke at the meeting to oppose the plans after residents raised concerns over the design of the retirement apartments.

He told the Guardian: "What we are hoping for is that the developer goes away and changes the design so it is in keeping with what Northwich people want.

"From the consultation process, and Northwich's neighbourhood plan, it's clear that people – particularly younger people – like the traditional black-and-white market town appearance.

"This is a big victory for Northwich people against the developers."

Residents had also opposed developer Galliford Try Partnerships' scheme after several other retirement apartment blocks had been built across Northwich.

Cllr Naylor added: "There is a view that the town is becoming saturated with over-55s accommodation. We also need affordable housing for younger people, to get the balance right."