A £600k redevelopment of an Andover school is to go-ahead, as education chiefs backed the project.

The existing building at Norman Gate School, in Vigo Road, will be reconfigured to provide new usable spaces.

As part of the project the school’s capacity will increase from 75 pupils to 93, to cater for more children aged two to 11, with moderate learning difficulties and autistic spectrum disorder.

The additional places would be added through a phased increase in the coming two to three years.

On March 27 Hampshire County Council’s (HCC) executive member for education and skills, Councillor Stephan Reid, approved the project proposals, after a consultation took place with parents and interested parties earlier this year.

The work has been earmarked following a rising demand in the area for special educational needs (SEN) places.

A letter from HCC’s children’s services department said: “Hampshire County Council is committed to expanding successful provision where possible to meet demand.

“Currently there is an increased need to provide support for pupils with moderate learning difficulties and autistic spectrum disorder in this area of the county.

“This proposal will provide much needed specialist educational capacity to meet this increased need.”

The project will see existing community spaces on the site converted into two new classrooms, and breakout, meeting and sensory areas, along with refurbishment of existing classrooms and existing offices

Headteacher Kelly Wilkie said: “We are very excited to be able to make changes to our environment. We believe it is a wonderful opportunity to provide more spaces for children who are in need of a specialist placement through developing purpose-built rooms that enable children with additional needs to thrive.

“Our pupils will benefit further as we extend our spaces to provide a sensory room, sensory studio, further learning spaces for small group working as well as an upgrade of our hygiene spaces.”

The works are due to finish in October.