Plans for a huge new aerospace college at Biggin Hill airport have been approved by councillors.

The  £11m new facility is a collaboration between LoCate and London South East Colleges, with £6.2m of funding being stumped up by the Greater London Authority.

In an industry with a shortage of trained professionals, bosses say the new college will help plug a gap in the workforce.

Councillors backed the plans at a planning committee meeting on July 23 at Bromley Civic Centre.

Councillor Alexa Michael, chairman of development control committee, said​: “There is currently a huge shortage of aeronautical engineers and mechanics in the UK and a definite need for this type of training facility.

“Bromley’s Local Plan supports the growth of aviation-related employment on the Biggin Hill Airport site.

“It is not considered that the travel arrangements of students to and from the site will ​have an adverse effect on local businesses and residents ​but, the potential impact on local residents is important.

“It is for this reason that a review of on​-street parking​ will be undertaken once the college is in use.”

The new college will provide space for up to 200 students and 25 teaching staff, and include a hangar and workshop for students.

The new college will provide pathways to accreditation and professional qualifications within aviation.

The airfield in Bromley was originally opened in 1917 as a part of the London Air Defence Area.

It served as one of the key bases of RAF Fighter Command during the Second World War.

David Winstanley, chief executive officer at London Biggin Hill Airport, said: “If the UK aviation industry is serious about tackling the skills shortage, we must find new ways to grow our own talent.

“The London Aerospace and Technology College is a game changer that will create a new generation of skilled aircraft engineers to meet the needs of aviation today and for years to come.”

Principal and CEO of London South East Colleges, Sam Parrett, said: “The new College will help address skills shortages in an expanding and economically-significant sector. It will also provide young people with a wealth of job opportunities in an industry they may never have before considered for a career.

“We are grateful to the council, the GLA, the airport, our employer partners, local residents and all our stakeholders for their ongoing support and their recognition of the value of this project. This is a win-win for the whole community.

“We now look forward to turning the plans into reality and look forward to welcoming our first cohort of students next year.”