WOOLSTON Primary School will be knocked down and replaced with a £4m ‘state of the art’ school after plans were approved by Warrington Borough Council.

The application was given the go ahead at a meeting of the development management committee at the Gateway on Thursday despite opposition from neighbours.

The school on Hall Road has been earmarked for redevelopment because the existing building is not fit for purpose.

But homeowners say the new site will be too close to homes, with mature trees cut down to make room.

Speaking in favour, head teacher Nick Toyne said the project was ‘essential’ for children in the area.

“The vast majority of neighbours support this application,” he said.

“We have thought about our neighbours from day one but we also have a responsibility to our children.

“I simoly believe that the location is the right one in order to enhance all of the learning opportunities offered by the site.”

Alan O’Hanlon is a homeowner on Barnfield Road, next to the school.

He spoke on behalf of residents against the application as he believes concerns have not been considered.

“The residents are not opposed to the redevelopment of the school,” he said.

“What we are objecting to is the location and design of the proposed building and importantly the destruction of mature trees fronting our properties.”

Aimee Bryers is an architect on the team that have designed the new school.

She said: “This building has been planned as far away from the buildings as possible while allowing a play area at the back.”

Clr Colin Froggatt, executive board member for children and young people’s services, also backed the plans.

He said it will lead to a ‘better education’ for children.

The plans were approved unanimously by the committee.

The new school is due to open in September next year, with the current building staying in use until then.