A CEMENT and building materials business will learn next week whether it can modernise its site at Shoreham Harbour.

Cemex UK wants to make changes at its wharf, in Basin Road North, Portslade, so that it can receive more sand and aggregate from a big new dredger.

The 340ft vessel can hold more material and discharge it more quickly than existing Cemex dredgers.

The company has applied to Brighton and Hove City Council for planning permission, with an identical application to Adur District Council and West Sussex County Council as the site straddles both council areas.

A report to Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee said: “The applicant has demonstrated that there is a need for the upgrade given the dilapidated condition of existing facilities and the provision of a new dredger to deposit aggregate materials by sea.”

Cemex wants to replace its current office building with two-storey modular buildings and move its stock bays as part of a makeover of the site.

The company also wants to rebuild its boundary wall and move the car park, lorry access and weighbridge.

The report to the Planning Committee, which backs the scheme, also said: “The proposed development is considered acceptable in principle.

“It would ensure the wharf is able to accommodate and receive aggregate from a more modern and efficient dredger.

“As such the development would ensure the economic viability and future security of the wharf.

“It would also ensure the security of aggregate supply in the longer term to contribute to the economic development of the local and wider region.”

Cemex said: “This proposal seeks to make rearrangements to the layout of the existing wharf.

“That would make it more modern and efficient, to improve safety and vehicle flow throughout the site and so the site can accommodate receiving aggregate from a new dredger.”

The site was previously known as Esso Wharf and Halls Wharf.

It incorporates the old Lennards Wharf.

West Sussex County Council granted planning permission on Thursday, August 8.

The Planning Committee is due to meet tomorrow at Hove Town Hall.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 2pm.

It is expected to be open to the public.