The multi-million-pound redevelopment of Wigan and Leigh College’s main campus at Parsons Walk has been approved by planners.

This includes the demolition of the School of Arts, the main building and tower block to be replaced by a new college building, and gable-end to the UCLAN (University of Central Lancashire) building.

The existing Parsons Walk and University Centre will be unaffected by the development.

A report from planning officers says there are a number of designated ‘heritage assets’ near the college, including Mesnes Conservation Area, Wigan Hall and Mesnes Building, which are both Grade II listed.

Leigh Journal: How Wigan and Leigh College will look

The new building will stand three storeys high with an internal floor space of more than 115,000 sq ft.

“The School of Arts building will be the first of a number including the ‘main’ and ‘tower block’ to be demolished, as it occupies the main footprint of the new college building,” the report says.

However, it goes on: “The demolition of the main building and tower blocks will only take place once the new building is complete.”

Numerous conditions have been imposed along approval of the scheme, including storage for 230 bicycles at the college.

An updated ‘travel plan’ must also be submitted to the council before the first students move in. It must show ‘measures to reduce the need to travel to and from the site by private transport’.

Leigh Journal: How Wigan and Leigh College will look

The plans have been approved despite concerns raised by the council’s tree officer over the loss of trees which are subject to tree preservation orders (TPOs).

“The loss of the TPO trees is noted and weighed as part of the planning balance in this respect,” the report says.

But as a result of comments made by the tree officer, the scheme must replace each TPO tree with two trees.