A SAILING club will be allowed to demolish and rebuild its home.

Plans to revamp Sussex Yacht Club in Brighton Road, Shoreham, have won unanimous backing from councillors.

Commodore Terry Kinch said members of the yacht club were delighted with the decision to approve the multi-million pound project.

A meeting of the Adur planning committee was told on Monday that the scheme was the start of what would become the “comprehensive flood defence” in the area.

Stephen Chipp (Con, Southwick Green) said: “I’m very positive about this. This is part of the tidal wall scheme is going to help protect our residents.”

Yacht club secretary Tim Leigh said there were a number of other permissions to obtain before work could begin, as well as the need to appoint a contractor, but a start date of early 2019 was anticipated.

Mr Leigh said the old clubhouse would stay open while the new one was built.

Once that work is complete, the old building and workshops will be demolished and the new flood defences and a walkway and cycleway will be built, along with a new entrance to the club from Brighton Road.

After the flood defences are completed, replacement workshops will be built next to the flood wall and the final landscaping and surface work will be completed.

Mr Leigh said the rebuild was “very important” to the club.

He added: “We have lived and operated from our current premises for over 70 years and would be very happy to live and operate out of them for many years to come.

“This partnership with the local authority has given us both an opportunity to provide a vital community benefit both in terms of safety and convenience with the new flood defences and walkway; along with the chance to create a new clubhouse, built to high standards of environmental consideration, with the best facilities we are able to afford for the benefit of our less able members and the many disabled groups that sail out of Sussex Yacht Club.

“The new clubhouse, we hope, will become an important asset to the local community as well as to our members, offering lovely new facilities with unrivalled views over the river and Shoreham Beach.”

After the meeting, Neil Parkin, leader of Adur District Council, said: “I’m delighted we have been able to work with Sussex Yacht Club, the wider community and partners to bring forward the first stage of this development.

“Not only does it feed into our wider vision of regenerating the harbour arm but it will plug the gap in the flood defences and open up the southern section of the coast road to cyclists and pedestrians.

“I look forward to seeing construction work progress in the coming months and am certain that, when complete, the project will have a tremendous impact on the thousands of residents and visitors to our district.”

Commodore Kinch said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the planning committee meeting and look forward to continuing our close working partnership with Adur District Council to achieve both our new clubhouse and the new pedestrian/cycleway and flood defence for Shoreham town.”

“The club will display regular updates on our notice boards in our entrance and we welcome any member of the public popping in to view these or to enquire should they wish further information on the whole project.”