RUSHMOOR Council has approved a new teaching block, refectory and all-weather sports surface at the Sixth Form College, Farnborough.

The two-storey classroom building, based in the heart of the Prospect Avenue campus, will be used for the teaching of English and media studies.

All the classrooms will be fitted with the latest touch-sensitive ‘whiteboard’ computerised display screens.

The refectory will be the third area dedicated to socialising at the college.

An all-weather football and hockey pitch in the north-east corner of the site will be available for students and the local community.

Eighty extra parking spaces are to be added to the student car park, raising concerns among some local residents about increased traffic congestion.

Most councillors welcomed the proposals at a recent meeting of the development control committee but Cllr Roland Dibbs, cabinet member for the environment, questioned the decision to increase parking facilities.

He said: “Why do students suddenly need a car when they are 17? If anything there should be a reduction in car parking spaces.”

Cllr Rosemary Possee, who represents Empress ward, said the development would be a welcome addition to “a wonderful college”.

She said it was difficult for all the students to use public transport because lessons start at staggered times throughout the day.

“We live in a different world and young people expect to have a car. We also need to look at how many students use public transport. It is so difficult because they are going in at nine, ten, and 11 and you can’t have buses running at all these different times.”

College principal Dr John Guy said he was delighted at the news.

“It will give us yet more state of the art facilities to fully serve the educational needs of young people in Rushmoor and Hart.”

Dr Guy said that since his arrival at the college it had taken huge steps to try to improve parking facilities for students.

“When I first came there was no parking on site for students and the residents were rightly outraged, so we have invested half a million pounds on car parking.

“When young people are 17 and they pass their driving test they want to be able to use that qualification. More often than not youngsters can teach adults a thing or two by sharing lifts.”