If you had been looking forward to the day, after an expensive trip to a musical in the West End, when you could avoid rushing to catch the last train back to Brighton, I have bad news.

Today, BHCC Planning Committee has recommended to approve a scheme to develop the Brighton Hippodrome as an eight-screen multiplex.

This project has been sold to the council as the ‘restoration of the Hippodrome’. As a live theatre it is no such thing.

The scheme involves demolition of key parts and wholesale gutting of all but the auditorium. Proposed building on Ship Street will prevent access and parking of a scale necessary for large touring productions.

The application claims that, should theatre use be sought in the future, all is reversible.

Anybody studying the plans can see that would not be economically viable and this claim must be dismissed as risible.

All this has arrived without any apparent action by the council to explore the opportunity to return this Grade 2*-listed building to live performance use.

Brighton promotes itself as an entertainment city but lacks the one thing which this building could provide – a 1,500 capacity musical theatre.

Major production companies would beat a path to the Stage Door.

The largest theatre company in the country have informed the council they would consider taking on its operation.

It is vital that the committee refuse the application and take measures to promote the restoration of the Hippodrome for live performance.

John Muir, Buckswood Grange, Uckfield