ONE of Britain’s best-loved high street brands comes a step closer to opening in the heart of Brighton today but fans of John Lewis should not get their credit cards out just yet.

A public consultation on the employee-owned chain’s proposals to build a flagship store on the corner of North Street and Queen’s Road will be open today and tomorrow.

For the first time, eager shoppers will be able to see an artist’s impression of what it might look like on the current Boots site.

But it is not clear when the upmarket department store will open, with a planning application not yet submitted and Boots set to stay until at least 2018.

With multifaceted blue and green glass panels rising to a height of three stories, the shop would strike a very modern note in contrast to the adjacent nineteenth-century clock tower.

The exhibition of the plans by the company - which purchased the site last year - will be held at 133 Queens Road from 11am til 8pm today, and from 11am until 4pm tomorrow.

Andrew Mills, senior acquisitions and development manager at John Lewis, said: “We have held a long term ambition to build a new department store in Brighton and we want to hear local people’s views on our proposals. We have developed an outline planning application so that we can establish the scale of our new shop.

“We are also sharing sketches showing what the shop could look like and we want to hear what people would like to see in the department store.”

The proposed John Lewis shop would represent a multi-million pound investment by John Lewis into Brighton and Hove and create 250 jobs.

It is understood John Lewis has been searching for a suitable site in the city for more than a decade, but don’t expect the doors to open any time soon. Following this consultation the retailer intends to submit an outline planning application later this year, followed by a detailed planning application next year.

You can also view the exhibition and leave comments from 16th to 26th September online at