AN ambitious £35m eco-friendly revamp of City College in Southampton was given the thumbs-up by councillors.

The approved plans, which include two wind turbines and a combined heat and power plant to reduce carbon emissions and fuel bills, will create a state-of-the-art campus in St Mary's for young and adult students.

It will see refurbishment of existing buildings, the demolition of two blocks, the creation of a "central hub", new training buildings, a new restaurant and hair & beauty salon - both of which will be open to the public.

Architect Paul Duenas of Ellis Williams Architects said the scheme provided a "very strong, modern, new millennium, image for the city."

He said a relocated car park, on the site of a demolished block, will open up a vista of St Mary's Church from Chapel Road, while the new hub enhanced the college's ability to accommodate community activities.

Facilities Lindsey Noble, principal of the 10,000 student sixth-form vocational college, said: "City College will offer the most advanced facilities possible for our students and clients.

"They will be state of the art in every sense, providing the finest learning spaces. They will ensure that the buildings meet modern requirements for energy efficiency and sustainability."

A target saving of 120 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year has been planned. An average household emits six tonnes per year.

Despite some worries about the noise and vibrations of the turbines, which will be settled by a noise study, the city council's planning and rights of way panel unanimously backed the scheme.

Planning officers will now agree legal details of the planning consent.

Councillor Sue Blatchford added: "It's pleasing to the college demonstrating that having wind turbines is possible within and urban setting and can offer some of your energy needs."

The scheme is expected to be completed by July 2010.