A timeline has been set for works to create more classrooms at a college in Southampton.

The project, at Itchen Sixth Form College in Bitterne, was approved in March.

It will see a new two-storey building providing seven classrooms and a multi-purpose space for sport and uniformed services students.

Five temporary classrooms currently on the sixth form site, which are in a “very poor condition”, will be removed.

The £3 million scheme is expected to be completed by February next year.

Preparatory works are due to begin on the Middle Road site from May 20, before building starts four weeks later.

Principal Alex Scott said: “We are delighted to have received planning permission for our new block.

“It will provide much-needed replacement accommodation for temporary buildings, and release space to reinstate parking which will benefit our neighbours.”

The scheme is jointly funded by the college and the Department for Education’s post-16 capacity fund.

The college, which has more than 1,400 students, secured planning permission from Southampton City Council on March 28.

A report by planning officer Anna Lee said: “The application proposals provide an enhanced provision of facilities at an existing college.

“The proposals are considered to contribute towards an identified need for improved facilities on-site and provision of new amenities to support the local community.”

An objection was raised by the local authority’s tree team due to the loss of seven mature trees, but the college has committed to planting replacements.

Ms Lee’s report said the diversity of sporting offer at the site will improve and students will not have to leave the site to use the facilities.

A planning statement submitted on behalf of the college said: “The new teaching block would not result in an increase in staff or student numbers, but rather it would improve the college’s offering and suite of appropriate accommodation for its current students.”

It added: “The provision of the new building will enable the removal of five temporary classrooms. The temporary classrooms are in very poor condition, nearing their end of life. They are very inefficient in terms of their energy use and carbon consumption.”