A LEADING councillor is warning housing developers to keep their hands off Regents Theological College, which is being put up for sale.
The Elim Pentecostal Church has announced the Nantwich college is to re-locate from its site in London Road to a new property at Malvern, Worcestershire, in September, 2009.
But fears are mounting that the site could be targeted by a housing firm looking to add further homes to a heavily developed area.
Town leaders are losing patience with developers who they say are swamping the town with new houses.
Nantwich county councillor Arthur Moran said: 'This site has got to be a target for developers and we should strongly resist any bids for housing.
'The neighbouring St Joseph's Way estate is right next to it so it's worrying to think more homes will be built to create a big estate.'
College chiefs say investments required in the site's facilities are uneconomic to carry out, and the move to a new property is seen as the best solution to secure its long-term future. It will be combined with Regents' international headquarters, currently based in Cheltenham.
The Nantwich Elim Pentecostal Church and Woodlands Nursery will continue to operate in Nantwich under the management and ownership of Elim but a location has not yet been confirmed.
Regents' principal, the Rev Nigel Tween, said: 'We are sad our time in Nantwich is coming to an end. We loved working in the community.
'We have valued the friendships and partnerships we have made with local people and organisations. Our students and staff will be continuing educational work for two more years before moving to Malvern.'
Cllr Graham Fenton, a regular worshipper at the church, added: 'I realise the building will be gone but fellowship is more than that. Worship will still take place and the faith goes on.'