A disused warehouse could become a city’s first permanent ice rink in almost a decade.

City Gateway Developments has proposed plans to build an indoor ice rink as well as a climbing wall and fitness centre at the former Flexer Sacks Factory on Wellington Road, Portslade.

If approved by council planners it would be the first permanent rink open in Sussex since 2003.

Project coordinator Clive Stillman said: “It is hoped that work will start on the site before the end of this year and we aim for completion by spring 2012. It won’t happen overnight.

“I think it’s great that a site inhabited only by pigeons for last 8 years can now provide the people of Brighton and Hove something they’ve never had before.”

Sussex Ice Skating Club, a campaign for a permanent Sussex ice rink has been gathering momentum since the closure of the Queens Square rink in 2008, has more than 10,000 supporters.

Talks over plans for a £70m arena and rink at Black Rock on Brighton seafront had been ongoing for nearly a decade, when they were sidelined for a temporary coach park in March.

Plans for the addition of the ice rink are currently under consideration.