A crucial link in plans for the Albion's new stadium at Falmer was given the go-ahead last night, by the narrowest of margins.

Councillors have supported a request from the club to widen part of Village Way for a new roundabout at the entrance to Brighton University's campus.

This is an amendment to the plan for a community stadium at Falmer, which has been the subject of a public inquiry.

The partial widening to four lanes is needed to overcome the university's concerns about potential conflicts between stadium and campus traffic.

City councillors agreed to recommend to the inspector, who resumes the inquiry on October 14, permission be granted.

But other work on the road falls within the boundary of Lewes District Council, which may not be so keen.

Voting at a meeting of Brighton and Hove planning committee was split 5-5 but chairman Bob Carden used his casting vote to pass the scheme.

Tory councillor Geoff Wells felt it could cause traffic problems. Green councillor Sue Paskins said the widening should have been suggested at an earlier stage.

She added: "Will other roads in the area of outstanding natural beauty also have to be widened to cope with the traffic?"

Thursday September 25, 2003