PLANS to demolish the former council offices in Northwich and build 70 retirement apartments in its place are set to be given the go-ahead next week.

The plans were revealed in June, when Galliford Try Partnerships submitted its planning application to Cheshire West and Chester Council.

They show a four-storey building of 70 mixed-size flats exclusively for over 55s, and a bistro on the ground floor for access to residents and the public.

The intention to bulldoze the derelict building was met with widespread rejoicing, with many describing the large building – which sits in the centre of the one-way system at the top of Chesterway – as an eyesore.

It came under scrutiny from residents of Northwich when appearing on TV during the Tour Series cycle race in May.

However, the plans to build retirement apartments in its place have been controversial as the retirement flats would join several others of their kind in Northwich town centre.

Cllr Sam Naylor told the Guardian after the plans were announced: “I want to see the town being regenerated, and want something for everyone.

“We are having more and more of these flats for older people, and we need to try and encourage accommodation for young people with families who are going to go out and enjoy themselves in the town centre.”

The decision on whether to approve the plans and allow the demolition and building to begin is due to be made on Tuesday, December 5, by the council’s planning committee.

It is expected that the committee will vote in favour of the development, with planning officer Paul Friston recommending that the committee members give the green light.

In a report, which will be provided to committee members before the meeting, Mr Friston said: “The former County Council offices site has been promoted for redevelopment for several years.

“Retained policy (STC2) for Northwich Town Centre identifies sites it seeks to focus on in terms of new development, and this site is covered by retained Policy GS9F, which sets out that comprehensive mixed-use development will be supported.”

“The proposal is considered to be sustainable development and permission is recommended.”