CIVIC chiefs have approved the latest phase of a multi-million-pound expansion plan at a Hampshire primary school.

Southampton City Council has given itself planning permission to build more facilities at Springwell School in Hinkler Road, Thornhill, to help it meet increased demand.

The proposed development includes eight classrooms, a hall and kitchen and a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) that will be used by the wider community.

The scheme was approved at a meeting of the council’s planning and rights of way panel - on condition that the MUGA is floodlit at night.

Cllr Graham Wilkinson said: “If there are no floodlights there will be no activity at the MUGA for six months of the year. It will be virtually useless.”

Springwell School, which opened in 2007, caters for children aged four-11 who have complex learning difficulties.

A report to councillors conceded that the proposed development would result in the loss of open space.

But it added: “There is a fine balance between the need to protect existing open space against the acute need to provide additional school places.

“As a result of the pane’’s previous decision to defer the application the proposal has been amended, educing the amount of open space required by the development.”