PLANS to bulldoze a landmark church that’s been in the community for almost 150 years have been given the go-ahead by the council.

St Andrew’s United Church in New Brighton will be demolished with a new “fit for purpose” church and community centre built in its stead.

The decision has been made because the cost of refurbishing and repairing the structure on Rowson Street would cost £1m – and only give it 20 more years of life.

Wirral council released the decision on Wednesday after the building, opened in 1870, was found to have “serious defects”, and areas of damp requiring “costly repairs and refurbishments”.

The design and access statement submitted alongside the application said: “The Church has taken the decision that the way forward is to demolish the existing church and to build a new church and community building on the site.

“A number of history and heritage items such as the windows and plaques will be incorporated in the new building.”

It said the structure has “failed” over recent years, and problems with the building fabric and specifically a leaking roof have been “very costly” to repair.

The statement, submitted by Life Architecture on behalf of the church, added: “The lower and upper levels are suffering from very high maintenance costs. The building is expensive to heat and difficult to keep warm.

“It had been decided by the church membership that it would be cost prohibitive to repair and refurbish the existing church, and the decision had been taken to demolish the existing building and provide a new fit for purpose building on the existing site.”

The new building will provide a new sanctuary space on the ground floor with additional facilities like a refreshment area and kitchen, and range of flexible community rooms with meeting space.