Kingston University’s plans to renovate a building in the Knights Park campus have been given the go-ahead by the council.

The New Extension Building has been largely untouched since the 1970s, and it is hoped the refurbishment will improve its appearance and the environmental impact.

Plans include the creation of design studios, workshops and informal breakout spaces, as well as significant works to the exterior.

Also in the development are plans to demolish the building containing numbers 56 to 58 in Mill Street, which was built to be a caretaker’s residence but has since become student flats.

The building was not originally designed to provide accommodation, and is to be replaced with teaching facilities.

In addition to the works to the buildings, there will be new paving and landscaping around the front in Mill Street and green roofs on the New Extension Building, as well as bird boxes and bat boxes to encourage wildlife.

Architects Haworth Tompkins designed the proposals for the refurbishment and Mill Street extension, who have previously worked for such clients as the Royal College of Art and the National Theatre.

A Kingston University spokesman said: “The University welcomes the approval of its plans to update the internal layout and façade of the New Extension building at the Knights Park campus, which is being overseen by Stirling Prize-winning architects Haworth Tompkins.

“It comes at an exciting time for the University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, based at Knights Park, as it prepares to return to its original name of Kingston School of Art from September, celebrating its art school ethos and heritage as one of the country’s leading providers of art and design education.

“The work will deliver new workshops and studios equipped with the latest design technology, ensuring Kingston School of Art students continue to have access to the state-of-the-art facilities needed to realise their creative potential.

“The University has worked closely with neighbours and Kingston Council throughout the planning process, and looks forward to the benefits it will bring to students and the local community.

“Knights Park is home to the University’s internationally acclaimed fashion programme, rated number two in the world by leading website Business of Fashion. The University was placed second overall in the United Kingdom in the fashion and textiles category in the latest Guardian University Guide, with its art and design courses – also based at Knights Park – also ranked among the country’s top 10.”