Major renovation projects which would see new music, engineering and classroom facilities built at two college campuses in Widnes look set to be rubber-stamped, despite the concerns of some residents and ward councillors.

Halton Council’s development management committee is recommended to approve two applications by Riverside College when it meets on Monday. The first is for a new four-storey engineering block at Riverside's Kingsway campus, along with the phased re-cladding of existing buildings.

The second application is for Riverside's Cronton campus and includes the demolition of existing changing rooms and construction of two storey extension to provide a new music hub with music practice rooms, band rooms and two classrooms. Construction of a new build teaching block providing three ICT classrooms, laboratory and six classrooms, with staff and sanitary facilities landscaping and covered walkway are also part of the scheme.

A similar scheme at Kingsway was given the green light last year, but would have seen the engineering block built as an extension on an existing building. Those plans have been superseded by a slightly different development which would see the engineering block constructed as a standalone building.

One representation has been received from the public about the Kingsway development, citing what they said were concerns over ‘student inappropriate behaviour, loss of daylight and parking issues’.

On the Kingsway plans, a report to the development management committee, said: “The proposal would enhance an existing educational facility within the borough.

“The development would have a positive impact on the Widnes Civic Quarter mixed use area through the promotion of a well-designed attractive building, improving the aesthetics through the re-cladding and retaining a community/educational facility on the site.”

On the Cronton plans, one representation was in support of the facilities and three neighbour objections were made relating to student inappropriate behaviour, concerns about construction traffic, not enough parking available on site or in the area and highway congestion.

Cronton Parish Council also raised concerns regarding the traffic congestion at the roundabout at the top of Queensbury Way. In a letter, it added: “Could these proposed facilities be included in the Kingsway Campus instead of the Cronton Campus, thereby not increasing the pressure on the road system?”

Birchfield ward councillors Angela Ball and Mike Fry have also objected to the Cronton scheme. In a joint letter, they said: “We are writing on behalf of the local residents as we have a number of issues and concerns relating to this application as it stands, and the impact that it will have on those living near the Cronton campus.

"These include traffic and highways management, impact on local residents on completion of the facility and during construction.”

But recommending approval, the report said: “Ward councillors have raised a number of concerns largely addressed above in the report. To reiterate, the applicant has stated that there would be no increase in student or staff numbers. The parking issues will be addressed and alleviated by the implementation of the updated travel plan.”