Fatboy Slim has been given the green light to hold his New Year's Day beach party.

Brighton and Hove City Council agreed last night to grant a licence for the Big Beach Boutique 3, in Madeira Drive.

The DJ, real name Norman Cook of Hove, will still have to receive owner's consent from the council at a meeting next Thursday and agree an evacuation plan with East Sussex Fire and Rescue.

Bruce Townsend, Fire Safety Officer, said: "If there is a fire we would have a serious probl em of tackling any incident in this area."

But event manager Jim King said that the 20,000-ticket party had now negotiated its last major hurdle.

He said: "We are very pleased - we think it is the right decision and we are heading towards a great event."

The show will be Cook's first on the beach since 250,000 people flocked to his 2002 concert, creating chaos in the city.

Outstanding issues include fears people without tickets would be able to watch the concert from the Palace Pier, although Mr King said he was confident he would reach an agreement with the owners.

Councillor Vince Meegan also warned that people may choose to use boats and kayaks to watch the event.

He said: "I cannot see what would stop people, and I can see an armada of kayaks making their way there."

Mr King said this problem had been raised with the coast guard, including the likelihood boats from Brighton Marina could be used to overlook the show.

The licence includes a raft of conditions after representations from those living nearby, the police, council, and NHS, but many of these have already been agreed with the organiser.

Committee chairwoman Jeane Lepper said: "I just hope the weather is clement for you."