PLANS to expand a Southampton college have been given the green light.

Five new classrooms and two offices are to be built at Itchen College in Middle Road, Bitterne.

The move would allow the college – which currently has 1,350 students –  to accommodate an extra 135 learners.

Some residents had raised concerns over the impact of the expansion on parking and traffic in the area.

But planning bosses recommended the approval of the plans.

The Itchen Residents Committee previously asked for the proposals to be discussed by the city council Planning and Rights of Way Panel “for further consultation on traffic and parking implications in the area”.

At a meeting held on Tuesday night, a planning officer told councillors that mitigation measures would be put in place.

She said: “It is clear that the scheme will have an impact on the highway. However, there’s availability from the road. But this needs to be balanced against the need for education in this area.”

Cllr James Baillie, cabinet member for education, said: “Keeping our young people and improving the offer within Southampton so that they don’t feel they have to travel outside of the city is very important. We need to make sure they have the offer in Southampton. This project is doing just that.”

Planners previously said a parking survey indicated that given the road capacity there would not be “a detrimental overspill in parking within the nearby roads”.

The plans were unanimously approved by the Planning and Rights of Way Panel on Southampton City Council.