Albion bosses are celebrating after their ambitious plans for a new training ground for the club were backed by councillors.
Adur District Council’s planning committee gave permission for the club to begin work on its £29 million training ground on open land near New Monks Farm in Mash Barn Lane, Lancing, once amended proposals are handed in.
The eight councillors took about 90 minutes to decide unanimously to back the project.
Speaking after the decision, Brighton and Hove Albion director Martin Perry said: “It is a massive decision for the club. It’s a big step forward and we look forward now to developing the site as quickly as we can for Gus and the boys.”
The club hopes work could begin on the site next month. The training ground could be ready to open by the end of 2013.
The site will have 11 outdoor pitches with five for use by the first team and six pitches for academy and community use.
Its distinctive Y-shaped two-storey building, inspired by the art deco design of Shoreham Airport and the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, includes an indoor pitch, changing rooms, a pool, medical facilities, gym, physio rooms and offices for the club’s analysts.
Schoolchildren will be able to watch the first team train.
During the meeting, Mr Perry stressed the economic advantages of the project which is estimated to create about 300 jobs and could inject £3 million worth of building contracts into the local economy.
He urged councillors: “Don’t let the opportunity slip through your fingers.”
A decision was originally expected in May but Albion went back to the drawing board after a number of concerns were raised over noise pollution, access to the site and the impact of extra traffic.
Councillors agreed to grant planning permission, subject to slightly amended blueprints being submitted featuring shorter lighting columns in the car park and alterations to the access road.