Multimillion pound plans to revamp a sports centre have been given the go-ahead.

Brighton and Hove City Council is spending £2.7 million to improve the Withdean complex in Tongdean Lane, Brighton.

The site, which used to be home to Brighton and Hove Albion, includes seats left over from the Seagulls’ time as tenants of the athletics stadium.

The plans were approved by the local authority’s planning committee this afternoon.

Christopher Hawtree, chairman of the planning committee, said: “We’re a city of sports fans but historically our facilities have been running to keep up with our enthusiasm.

“This is a major investment in sport which will help the city’s families stay healthier and happier.

"I am always glad to see improved facilities in outlying areas of the city.”

Work is expected to start in February and finish in December.

The revamp includes an expansion to the fitness studio, a new entrance and reception, plus café.

Changing rooms, three new therapy rooms, and separate cycling and exercise studios will also be installed.

Developers will also install a glass link between indoor tennis centre and squash building.

Planning permission has also been granted to retain the 900-seat west stand at the athletics stadium as well as a temporary north-west car park.

Temporary consent has been granted to retain toilets, changing rooms and storage containers for three years.

Coun Hawtree said: “We are imposing conditions to improve the appearance of the temporary buildings and hope to improve further the appearance of the stadium when these permissions expire."

The project forms part of the council’s ten-year sports facilities plan to improve the quality of facilities in the city.