DRAMATIC £70 million plans to overhaul Sale town centre have been given the green light despite fears about the scale of the development.

During a lengthy debate, a number of town hall bosses raised concerns about how the scheme ­— which includes a cinema ­— will impact the area ­— and its residents.

The plans will see the outdated shopping mall bulldozed and replaced with two tower blocks, 12 and 15-storeys high, that will house 184 flats.

The regeneration project, dubbed The Square, will also see other nearby buildings demolished and replaced with 18 two and three-storey homes, leisure facilities, and a multi-storey car park to replace the existing one.

An 84-seater cinema will be built alongside a south-facing pedestrian plaza and avenue linking the corner of Sibson and Springfield Roads to Town Square.

Developer Maloneview has been working on the concept for the masterplan for a number of years, before submitting plans to Trafford council in June.

However, during Thursday’s planning meeting, Cllr Barry Brotherton said: “This development is just too much for such a small site.

“The tower blocks will dominate the town centre ­— and will look completely out of character to the rest of the town.”

He was also ‘disappointed’ about the number of ‘so-called’ affordable housing being delivered.

“Just 20 properties out of almost 200 is not nearly enough,” he said.

His colleagues, Cllrs Rob Chilton and Mike Freeman, agreed ­— and also spoke against the application.

Cllr Chilton said the housing and cinema are welcome additions to the town.

“It’s the scale and design of the development that is in dispute,” he said.

“Plus I’m also concerned about the lack of parking.”

While Cllr Freeman raised concern about plans to relocate the town centre taxi rank.

Speaking in favour of the application Mark Rebbeck, commercial director at Maloneview, described the shopping centre as ‘outdated and tired’.

“This new development has been well-designed ­— and we want to start work at the earliest opportunity,” he said.

However, Cllr Daniel Bunting disagreed and said he was ‘underwhelmed’ by the plans.

“They are trying to put too much on the site ­— and the apartment blocks are too high and out of character,” he said.

“I’m also concerned about how local schools and surgeries will cope with the influx of more residents.”

Cllr Bunting suggested deferring the application so that councillors could ‘get around the table’  with the developer to discuss the issues.

“There are too many problems running through this scheme ­— and the residents of Sale will not forgive us if this turns into a botched job,” he added.

Cllr Liz Patel described it as a ‘significant’ scheme that will impact residents.

“However, there is a balance to be struck here,” she said.

“There is a lot to like about the plans, such as improvements to pedestrian routes and the public realm.

“At the moment the area is just a mash of concrete – and, therefore, I support the development.”

Cllr Geraldine Coggins agreed with her colleague.

“There are clearly a number of compromises with the development, but on balance, I’m minded to support it,” she said.